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Neotectonics of the northern Mojave Desert

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Gravity Mapping: Gravity data provides information about the density of earth materials below the earth surface. Construction of gravity maps is labor intensive; it involves taking a highly sensitive gravity meter (typically very expensive and heavy) out into the field to take measurements on the ground. Each of the small red dots on the map shows the location where a measurement was taken. The data is then manipulated into contour maps, and gravity high and low areas are resolved. Note with the greater concentration of measurements, the more detail can be resolved. Gravity can help determine the locations and geometry of alluvium filled basins, the location of dense bodies of rock (like igneous intrusions) and trends and geometry of faults in the subsurface (which may not be obvious on the surface). Gravity mapping is useful to compare with surficial mapping and magnetic data.

Gravity map of part of the central Mojave Desert region of California

graphic provided by Kevin Schmidt

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