Mormon Point
The Mormon Point "turtleback" is located along the western range front of the southern Black Mountains in Death Valley. A "turtleback" is a geologic term used to describe range front features created by undulations along exposed surfaces of great "young" fault escarpments. In the case of the Mormon Point turtleback, the "hanging wall" side of the normal fault dropped down (and to the left in this image) forming Death Valley, whereas the rising "foot wall" is forming the Black Mountains. Because precipitation is so low in Death Valley, erosion has not completely destroyed the structure of the turtleback, even though motion along the fault has probably taken place over millions of years (Troxel and Wright, 1987). Remnants of a wave-cut bench formed by shoreline erosion during high-standing water levels in ancient Lake Manly can be seen along the left side of Mormon Point. Scale (1:48,000); north is to the left.
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Last modified: 11/30/2010