1. Blackhawk: Truly Pathological

    I’m posting a few additional views of the Blackhawk Landslide in California, to emphasize the truly pathological geomorphology of the area. In the views showing slide toe and slide source, I’ve moved the source area farther into the mountain from the original given by San Diego State (kmz). I’ve done this based on prior knowledge and published maps. Basically, the entire steep northern face of Blackhawk Mountain is the slide source area.
    Additionally, there are other older landslides in the area, most notably the one sometimes called the Silver Reef landslide, which is just east of the Blackhawk. Also, many additional breccias and possible landslide deposits have been mapped in the area. The geologic maps (Big Bear City quad and Cougar Buttes quad) are really awesome, especially if you know how complex the geology really is. There are numerous thrusts from the south, placing brecciated rocks of multiple ages on usually older rocks. In at least one place, bedrock has been pushed over one of the older breccias. Or is it really bedrock?
    Back in the 1980’s, I mapped a large area of Blackhawk Mountain and surrounding areas at 1inch = 500 feet. I found, and so have others working in the nearby northern slopes of the San Bernardino Mountains, that if you start at the top, clearly in bedrock, sometimes brecciated, and map down, then you will be tempted to map bedrock until you are clearly in landslide debris. If you start from the top and map up, the opposite is likely to happen.
    The reason for northward thrusting is the bend in the San Andreas fault, causing the westward, southward side to be pushed northward, breaking over the steepened San Bernardino Mountains in low-angle faults. The thrusts cause brecciation, and the steepening, brecciation, and low-angle faulting predisposes the area to massive sliding. Stratigraphy is somewhat retained in the slides, and gold has been mined from nicely pre-broken landslid rock of the Blackhawk Slide. Silver occurs in somewhat disturbed veins in the Silver Reef Slide.

    In the annotated view, the Younger LS deposits (yellow) are Holocene or late Pleistocene; the Older LS deposists (turquoise and pink) are middle or early Pleistocene; the Moderately Old LS deposits (purple and orange) are middle or early Pleistocene; the very old debris flow fan deposit (purple) is middle or early Pleistocene; and the QT Breccias (blue and red) are Pleistocene or Pliocene.
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