Fairview Peak, Nevada

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, Universityof Wisconsin - Green Bay

On December 16, 1954, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake created a fault rupture 80 kilometers long with up to 5 meters of displacement. The Bureau of Land Management has markers commemorating the event. These photos were taken April 25, 2003.
Looking east along U.S. 50 toward the Desatoya Mountains. Part of the upgrade in the foreground was the fault rupture across the highway.
Fairview Peak (8243 feet) is the sharp ridge with the patch of snow. The view at left looks up the road to the fault scarps. The scarps are about 8 kilometers south of here.
Left and Below: Closeups of the rhyolite that makes up Fairview Peak.
A spur to the west leads to a parking area where some of the best scarps are visible.
View of the parking loop looking back down the spur to the access road.
Left and Below: The fault scarp is amazingly well preserved after 50 years.
A placard at the parking area explains earthquake magnitude. Note the main fault rupture and a smaller rupture above and behind it.
Left and Below: Views looking south along the scarp near the parking area.
Looking south from the top of the offset ridge. The fault trace becomes more difficult to follow. There appear to be at least two fault splays here: a main break to the right of the rightmost tree on the far ridge and a smaller one running diagonally up the ridge toward the low tree left of center.
Offset in colluvium north of the parking loop.
Left and below: Views looking north along the rupture north of the parking loop.
Distant view looking northeast to the Desatoya Mountains.
Left and below: Views north along the access road. The snow-capped mountain is the summit of the Clan Alpine Range. The light colored mountain seen looking directly down the access road is Chalk Mountain.
Left and Below: Views of the basal scarp of Fairview Peak. The fault is sometimes marked by a line of trees where fractures allow greater moisture storage. The 1954 rupture is difficult to trace from the road.
View looking northwest toward the Stillwater Range.
Left and Below: 1954 ruptures are still fairly apparent near U.S. 50. They're actually easier to see after visiting the main rupture area and getting a good feel for how the ruptures are expressed.

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Created 7 April 2003, Last Update 06 June 2020