Fish Springs fault study

The Fish Springs fault is a strand of the Owens Valley fault zone.

location map


The fault vertically displaces debris-flow fans, abandoned stream channels, a cinder cone, and lava of Crater Mountain. The site provides an excellent opportunity to investigate long-term displacement rates.


Before sampling for cosmogenic isotopes, we mapped the fans at Fish Springs in detail. We identified 5 fans with different ages.

In order of decreasing age the fans are:

west fan

north fan C

north fan A

north fan B

south fan


Map of fan units, cinder cone, and fault



We measured 10-Be and 26-Al in 34 granitic boulders on the five fan surfaces. We also dug 11 pits on three fan surfaces to examine soil development.


Backhoe digging our pits



For a brief description of what we found, read our abstract. We also provide more detailed information about cosmogenic ages, soils, and displacement rates.



back to introduction