ARTISTS DRIVE Level Line (Line 50)
Latitude: N 36°25'50.4"
Longitude: W 116°51'06.8"

Length: 407.5m
Number of Bench marks: 10

Number of Surveys to 2000: 11
Date of Initial Survey: 21 December 1970
Date of Latest Survey: 27 March 2000

Trespass Permission Required:
National Park Service
Death Valley National Park
Death Valley, CA 92328
(714) 786-2331

The level line is on an alluvial fan east of the Badwater Road, 1.5 mile south of the Badwater turn off from Hwy 190 at Furnace Creek (Fig. 1).

Vehicles must not be driven off the paved road. They may be parked on the shoulder only.

The line was placed across the Artist Drive fault on the east side of Death Valley one and one-half miles south of Furnace Creek Inn (Fig. 1). It was extended an additional 47 m by adding two more bench marks at the east end of the line in 1985. This was done to have control east of bench mark 544 which, since 1970, has risen 6-10 mm relative to the rest of the bench marks in the array (Fig. 2, and Sylvester and Bie, 1986).

Fig. 1. Schematic map of Artist's Drive leveling array across the Artist's Drive fault, Death Valley.


Fig. 2. Height changes among all bench marks in Artist's Drive leveling array, including those that were added in December 1985, relative to the December 1985 survey. Bench mark 051 in the hanging wall is arbitrarily held fixed. The surface trace of the fault is between bench marks 54 and 541. Bench marks 545 and 546 were added in December 1985. The uncertainty of the 1985 leveling is ±1.2 mm as represented by the two horizontal dashed lines.

On the face of the data presented here, one may conclude that the line tilted westward 14 microradians between 1978 and 2000, and if it did so continuously, then the tilt rate is 0.6 mm/yr. The snag with this nifty interpretation is that the uncertainty in several of the surveys is as great or greater than the magnitude of the changes presented in this figure.

Sylvester, A. G., and S. W. Bie, 1986. Geodetic monitoring of fault movements in Death Valley, 1970-1985, pp. 41-44, in Troxel, B. W., editor , Quaternary Tectonics of Southern Death Valley. Field Guide, Pacific Cell, Friends of the Pleistocene, 44 p.


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