Growth faults and synorogenic sedimentary strata preserved in Upper Cretaceous units on the margin of the Kaiparowits Basin in southern Utah pinpoint the timing of onset of the Laramide orogeny in this region between 80 and 76 Ma. The newly identified listric normal faults, exposed in the steep limb of the East Kaibab monocline, sole into shales and evaporites of the Jurassic Carmel Formation. Faults lose displacement up-section through the Cretaceous Wahweap Formation and are associated with numerous coseismic sedimentary features. Fault orientations and slip vectors yield strain directions consistent with fold-related extension parallel to the axis of the growing East Kaibab monocline, or with development of a pull-apart basin at a bend in the trend of the fold. The association of the faults with the steep limb of a major basement-cored structure links them to initial Laramide movement along the Kaibab Uplift. When combined with recent radiometric ages of rock units bracketing the fault-induced growth strata, these sedimentary and structural features narrowly define the onset of Laramide deformation in the western Colorado Plateau.
- Received 14 September 2009.
- Revision received 21 February 2010.
- Accepted 14 April 2010.
- © 2010 Geological Society of America