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GEOLOGY - Foundation of the present; key to California's Mure.

- Foundation of the present; key to California's Mure. 35¢ ~,ALIFORNIA September 1979 (J-EOLOGY CALIFORNIA AND
35¢
35¢
of the present; key to California's Mure. 35¢ ~,ALIFORNIA September 1979 (J-EOLOGY CALIFORNIA AND PLATE

~,ALIFORNIA

September 1979

(J-EOLOGY

CALIFORNIA AND PLATE TECTONICS

GEOMORPHIC PROVINCES OF CALIFORNIA Generalized Geologic Units D , Quot"no" dlmont.,) ,ock. " §
GEOMORPHIC PROVINCES
OF
CALIFORNIA
Generalized
Geologic Units
D
,
Quot"no"
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,ock.
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§
To, 110"
.od""ont."
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and T
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01 CASCADE RANGE
ond
MODQC
PLATEAU
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80
t60 KtLOMETERS
SCALE
-
!'lJr 'to 1"0~",,1I w,/I,." , Callto.n'a·s p,esent geomo.ph,c p.ov,nces are the 'esult 01
!'lJr 'to
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,
Callto.n'a·s p,esent geomo.ph,c p.ov,nces are the 'esult 01 gaotog,c p,ocesS(lS wh,cll
hllva been lIct,ve to! m,II'ons 01 years Some althese processes 1I,e S(ldtme''llal'on. vol-
canosm. plulon,c ,nl.uSlon. melamo,ph,sm. e.os,on. ""d tec!On,sm Fo' it SI.'mmary 01
lhe geOteClo",c developmanl 0' Calliorntll. see Ihe lIrttcle 0" pllge 187

Note: This article summarizes the con- tents of the first Rubey Volume. a new se- ries in Earth and plenetary sciences. nemed in memory of the late W.W. Rubey. Profe. lOr of Geology end Geophysics at the Uni-

AN INTERPRETIVE ACCOUNT

versity of C.tlifomie Los Angeles IUCLA) and career scientist for the U.S. Geological Survey. ElIch volume will present the writ· ten product of an annual UCLA colloquium on a tepic of interest to geologists and

space scientists. Rubey Volume No.1 enti- tled THE GEOTECTONIC DEVELOPMENT OF CALIFORNIA describes the plate tec· tonic framework of the state and adjacent regions.

D D D o
D
D
D
o

D

By

W.G. ERNST. Chairman

Department of Earth and Space Sciences University of Californie. Los Angeles

D
D
and Space Sciences University of Californie. Los Angeles D o The geologic history of California is
and Space Sciences University of Californie. Los Angeles D o The geologic history of California is

o

and Space Sciences University of Californie. Los Angeles D o The geologic history of California is
and Space Sciences University of Californie. Los Angeles D o The geologic history of California is

The geologic history of California is unique and complelt. Dynamic interactions of lithospheric plates through time have left intriguing puzzles yet to be fully solved. The following article summarizes the find· ings of many workers studying plate tec- tonic geology in California. Because of the nature of the subject. the geologic con- cepts may be unfamiliar to many readers. To help the reader understand this descrip- tion of Ihe processes which led 10 the present geologic configurlltion of the state. a glossary of plate tectonic terms is included wilh this article (p.194). A brief summary of the basic concepts of plate teclonics can be found in the Oct. 1978 is-

sue of CAliFORNIA GEOLOGY

Editor.

INTRODUCTION

The present-day geology of California is an intricate lithotectonic collage. Litho- tectonic belts reflect the complex inter· play between semicontinuous igneous, sedimentary, and tectonic constructional processes and the episodic occurrence of destructive plate motions which have truncated, pulled apart, dispencd, and carried away segments of the continental

crust.

CONTINENTAL MARGINS AND THE GEOLOGY OF CALiFORNIA

There ace four principal types of lithos- pheric plate boundaries involving conti- nental margins. They are: (I) the Atlantic, (2) the Andean, (3) the Japa- nese, and (4) the Californian (figure I). The geology of each margin is a function of its own unique history and represents a

(01ATLANTIC TYPE rOOr}eocIile

011100

A T L A N T I C T Y P E rOOr}eocIile 011100 ~'T'(""" complex

~'T'("""

Y P E rOOr}eocIile 011100 ~'T'(""" complex interplay among diverse con· structional and

complex interplay among diverse con· structional and destructional processes. The Atlantic type (figure la) is a rifted margin produced by divergent plate mo- tion. Both the Andean type (figure tb) and the Japanese type (figure tc) are con· vergent plate junctions. TheCalifornillD type (figure Id) is characterized by strike ~lip movement, and it is, therefore, a conservative plate boundary. The conver- gent models (Andean and Japanese) may

(bl ANDEAN TYPE

-

-

subduclial

complex

bean:

basil

P'Jklnic

arc

-;;;;,.

====~

(dl CALlFOONIAN TYPE rifled bc:rde!tlnd

•• "
••
"
(dl CALlFOONIAN TYPE rifled bc:rde!tlnd •• " Figure 1 Diagrammatic sketch of the four major types

Figure 1 Diagrammatic sketch of the four major types of continental margins showing cruslal topologies: (a) Atlantic type. divergent margin: (b) Andean type and (cl Japa· nese type. Both (b) and (c) are convergent margins (nOI shown is oblique subduction or possible tectonic removal ollhe leading edge of the nonsubducted slab): (d) Califor- nian type. transform margin.Lithosphere-asthenosphere contact not illustrated. After Dic- kinson. 1976.

California Geology

september 1979

187

'-'-MOdoc: Basin and Range ! Plateau I I :.::'., i \ '\ '. ",Iit" ,
'-'-MOdoc:
Basin and Range
!
Plateau
I
I
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, '"\~
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o
Late \
Mesozoic'-?(
Franciscan ::'
terrane
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Late Meso- \"';
'.
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ZOIC granitic
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dlliJ
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SOZOIC Un!
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[J3 Large~Poleozaic units \\'~ \-
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GV
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Ophiolitic complexes
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120. ""::-,~,~rde~lond
,

Figure 2 Aspects of the generalized regional geology of California. InpartllfterH8milton. '978. Major faults: Coast Range thrust (CAT); Garlock (G); San Andreas (SA); San Gabriel (SG); San Jacinto (SJ); San Simeon-Hosgri (SSH); Other abbreviations: Grest Valley sequence (GV); Pelona and Orocopia schists (Pl.

involve pure "head 00" subduction, but oblique underflow is apparently more common. In either case, the convergent

motion may result in accretion of re-

worked sialic (silica-alumina-rich) mate- rial adjacent and landward ofthe trench,or tectonic erosion"of segments of the conti~ oental margin (oot shown on figure 1) may occur.

The present-day disposition oflithotcc- tonic belts in California is sbown on figure 2 (Hamilton, 1978).

PRECAMBRIAN

HISTORY

OF CALIFORNIA

The preserved Precambrian lithologic sections in California are limited and frag- mentary. Consequently, the deduced his-

tory is somewhat obscure. NC'\etheless, we know that lithosphere, hydros-

Transverse Ranges Province

Portions of the San Gabriel Com:p\a. have been fragmented and reasaembled at different times, and some portions are

probably still being modified due to ongo- ing translational motion along the San Andreas fault system. Lithologies pre- served in the San Gabriel Mountains indi- cate continental metamorphism at deep

crustal levels, and the addition

mafic and felsic calc-&1kaline igneous material. The oldest rocks are the Mendenhall Gneiss and related quartzo

feldspathic gneiss-amphibolite complex of 1715 ± 30 m.y. age, intruded by 1670

± 15 m.y. old granitic gneisses. The San

Gabriel anorthosite - gabbro - syenite complex was emplaced about 1220 ± 10 m.y. before present (b.p.). The thermal aureole produced by this differentiated mafic pluton caused the amphibolitiza- tion of relict granulites in Mendenhall Gneiss on the south and southeast mar- gins of the anorthositic complex (pboto I). It is not known if an early stage of metamorphism attending intrusion pro- duced the granulites (Ehlig, in press), or whether tbey formed prior to emplace- ment of the anorthositic complex, at about 1440 m.y. ago (Silver and otben,

of both

1963).

Mojave Desert Province

Isolated masses of Precambrian base- ment rocks protrude through a veritable sea of alluvium in the Mojave Desert. The basement rocks are intruded by Mesozoic granitic rock and overtain by volcanogenic units. Limited lateral continuity hampers re- gional correlations, but where outcrops occur, they are almost completely ex-

,."

phere. and atmosphere bad evolved to es.- sentially a modern aspect by about 2,000 million years (m.y.) ago (Windley, 1977). Crustal sections from that time 00- ward can be correlated in large part with currently active earth-building processes.

Two major belts of ancient crystalline rocks have been recognized based on ge0- chronologic data for cogenetic zircon suites in granites and their country rocks (Silver and Anderson, 1974). The older

It has been bypothesized that ancient

A

notable exception is the apparent lack

terrane to the northwest is characterized

of

ophiolites; sensu stricto, which would

by a 1820 m.y. old metamorphic basement

represc:ot an early phase of sea floor

intruded by granitic plutons which are

spreading prior to Phanerozoic time.

100 m.y. younger. The younger, more

Occurrences of Precambrian rocks in California have been hypothesized in sev- eral batholithic terranes, such as the Salinian block. of the Coast Ranges, al~ though Precambrian rocks are known with certainty only from the Transverse Ranges (San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains), the Mojave Desert, and the Basin and Range provinces.

southeasterly terrane consists of 1720 m.y. old country rocks intruded by 1650 m.y. old granites.

crystalline belts were juxtaposed in early Mesozoic time by a left-lateral stri.ke-slip fault which transccted the Mojave Desert in a roughly north-south direction. As in the San Gabriel Mountains, this Precam-

DEVONIAN-MISSISSIPPIAN

DEVONIAN-MISSISSIPPIAN Figure 3 Generalized plate tectonic set- ting of California during the Antler orogeny (Devonian -

Figure 3 Generalized plate tectonic set- ting of California during the Antler orogeny (Devonian - Mississippian Period). After

various sources. including Burchfief and Davis. 1972: 1915: Dickinson. in press.,

brian terrane reflects deep-level sialic ad- ditions to the continental crust. Simila.r metamorphosed rocks crop out to the south in the San Bernardino, Chocolate, and Orocopia Mountains.

Basin and Range Province

Precambrian rocks are found as far north as Death Valley, where they are un- conformably overlain by a weakly recrys- tallized sedimentary series of latest Precambrian age. These strata, and the overlying most recent Pre- cambrian and lower Paleozoic section, represent well-sorted, chemically mature sediments produced along an Atlantic- type continental margin (Stewart, 1972). The initiation of rifting resulted locally in formation of the Amargosa aulacogen (fault-bounded intracratonic trough or graben). Thus the time m1er'Yai from

latest

Precambrian

to

early

Paleozoic was

dominated

by

shallow

water, passive margin-type deposition

(such as formed the Pahrump Group) in this portion of California.

PALEOZOIC HISTORY OF CALIFORNIA

Rocks of Paleozoic age are present in large tracts of eastern Califomia (Sierra Nevada province) and crop out as far west as the Klamath Mountains province in the north western area of the state, possibly in the Coast Ranges province

(Salinian block) in the west-eentral por· tion of the state. in the Mojave Iksert province, and in the Ttarulvene Ranges province (San Gabriel Moun- tains) to the south. Judging from unit thickness and sedimentary facies trends, the ancient Pacific continental margin of North America trended roughly north- south, from southernmost Idaho and cen- tral Nevada into southeastern California (figure 3) prior to the Ander orogeny of

Late Devonian l and Early

time (Burchfiel and Davis, 1972; Stewart and Suczck, 1971). The onlapping sedi- ments have a thickness of about I kID on the southeast near the shelf edge, and thicken northwestward to a section of nearly 10 km. One or more early Paleo- zoic island ares were located to the west in the provinces of the Klamath Moun- tains and northwestern Sierra Nevada

Mississippian

(68'=4).

Sierra Nevada Province

In latest Devonian-earliest Mississippi- an time an eastward-directed overthrust- ing along the Roberts Mountains. thrust brought volcanogenic argillites of a sub- duction complex over an autochthonous miogeoclinal sequence (Stewart and Poole, 1974). The Antler orogeny sig- naled the closure of an intervening mar- ginal basin (figure 4) and the suturing of island arc material onlo the western pe- rimeter of North America. The Shoo Ay Formation in the northern Si- erra Nevada bears; evidence to this event. Dickinson (1971) presented the case for westward consumption of the marginal basin, whereas Burchfiel and Davis (1975) explained the suturing event through a process of eastward plate descent involving uncoupling and over- thrusting (obduction) of the island arc superstructure.

Renewed subduction offshore at the latitude of the Sierra Nevada allowed the

construction of a late Paleozoic volcanic arc lying west of a newly formed marginal basin. The latter was presumably the site

of accumulation of the Calaveras Forma-

tion. Unlike the present-day Japanese ar- chipelago (a typical island arc) which

faces the subducting oceanic crust- capped lithospheric plate, these Paleozoic island ares of central California apparent-

ly faced North America, reflecting west-

ward underflow of the marginal basin.

This volcanogenic unit constituted

the leading edge of the continental crust- capped slab. During the Sonoma orogeny

at the end of Permian to earliest Triassic

time, this lithologic plate moved eastward

along the Golconda thrust towards the North American craton (figure 5).

Klamath Mountains Province

In the Klamath Mountains province, a

general trend of units becoming younger

to the west and the tectonic imbrication of

middle and upper Paleozoic and Meso- zoic units along eastward-dipping thrusts (Irwin, 1960; 1917) suggests that subse- quent to the Antler orogeny, the paleopa- cffic plate descended to the east beneath the accreting continental margin. Here the east-dipping Trinity thrust jux- taposed the eastern Paleozoic and Triassic eugeoclinal section - a marginal basin assemblage (7) which appears to correlate in part with the northern Sierra Nevada Shoo Ay Formation - and the underly-

ing Trinity Ophiolite against the structur- ally lower, more westerly central metamorphic belt. The age of metamor- phism of this belt, 380-400 m.y., suggests

a Devonian event. However, the time of

(mal assembly in the eastern Klamath Mountains, judging by late Paleozoic- earliest Mesozoic depositional ages. indi- cates that late slages of the thrusting probably should be correlated with a phase of the Sonoma orogeny (latest Per- mian to earliest Triassic time). The plate tectonic interpretation of the central

DEVONIAN-MISSiSSIPPIAN

Klamath-N. Sierran

Island are

erc-trench QCIP

marQinel

Antler

forelond

allochthon

clastic

croton

basin be"
basin
be"

Figure" Hypothetical. generalized diagram depicting the Antier plate tectonic regime. not to scale. In this interpretation. westward subduction is postulated to be responsible for the eastward overthrusting of the Antler allochthon. After Poole and Sandberg. '971.

California Geology

September 1979

'"

Figure 5

So=>

allochthon

~

-;:-<\

do~ics

CRATON

Plate tectonic s9nin9 of Califor-

nia during the Sonoma orogeny (Permian

_ Triassic Period). After various sources. including Burchfiel Slid Davis, '972; 1975:

Dickinson. in press.

metamorphic belt is uncertain; whereas Hamilton (1969) regarded it as a mi· crocontinental fragment rafted into the subduction zone, others have suggested that it is the remnant of an island arc. In any case. it is a relatively thin section of

Paleozoic metamorphic rocks tectonically

overlying the Calaveru-equivalent

belt,

which locally contains Jurassic strata (Ir.

win and othen, 1977; 1978).

western

Paleozoic

and

Triassic

Paleozoic miogeoclinal-eugeo::linal fa-

cies trends are abruptly terminated on the southwest by north-northwest trending

Mesozoic lithotectonic belts which rough-

ly parallel the present continental margin.

Because of this profound truncation ofthe Paleozoic system, Hamilton (1969) and Burchfiel and Davis (1972) have p0s- tulated a major rifting event at the end of

Paleozoic time. The latter authors cor-

related the Klamath Mountains western Paleozoic and Triassic belt with the Cala· veras Formation of the Sierra Nevada, and suggested that the rifted margin lay on the continental side of these units. On the other hand. Dickinson (in press) related this pronounced depositional off· set to an original configuration of the late Precambrian rifted margin. now some.- what obscured due to Cenozoic strike slip on the San Andreas transform system. Tectonic erosion is yet another possibility as suggested by Scholl and Vallier (1979).

Southern

and

Southeastern

California

Upper (?) Paleozoic strata of southern and southeastern California, including al- leged equivalents in the Salinian block of

,

the Coast Ranges, are cb

carbonates and orthoquartzites depos.ited in flat-lying strata, and lack abundant volcanogenic detritus. This widespread but relatively thin sequence is thought to have been deposited on the continental shelf and slope (Burchfiel and Davis. 1972; 1975). The miogeoclinal units pass to the northwest into a eugcoclinal facies; fragments of the units are preserved in the Sierra Nevada batholith north of the lati- tude of the White Mountains and throughout the Western Foothills belt as the Shoo Fly Formation. the exotic Kings -Kaweah ophiolite. and perhaps older units of the Calaveras Formation.

by

aracterizcd

Summary - Tectonic Characteristics

To summariz.e, the Paleozoic Era was characterized in much of eastern and southern California by deposition along a passive continental margin which became deeper to the north-northwest. Offshore island arcs were accreted to the continent by the (westward?) consumption of inter- vening back-arc basins and eastward~­ reeted overthrusting along the Roberts Mountains (latest Devonian-earliest Mis· sissippian) and Golconda (latest Permian -earliest Triassic) thrusts in Nevada.

In the Klamath Mountains of Oregon and northern California, however, the age relations andjw:tapos.itiollJl of the various lithic belts suggest that at the end of De- vonian time the eastern Paleozoic belt. plus underlying Trinity Ophiolite were. obducted to the west over the subducted and recrystallizing central metamorphic belt. Effects of the Sonoma orogeny are confmed to the ultimate jux- taposition ofthese two terranes. Renewed thrusting in Triassic and later time along the east-dipping Siskiyou thrust on the western margin of the central meta· morphic belt apparently reflects normal Pacifie--type underl10w and westward continental growth.

MESOZOIC HISTORY OF CALIFORNIA

Igneous, metamorphic, and sedimen· tary rocks of Mesozoic age are widespread and abundant throughout all portions of the state. In aggregate, the rocks r/XOrd a very active stage of episodic continental accretion which evidently accompanied lithospheric plate convergence. Oblique subduction. possibly at a low angle of con- vergence, seems to have been the domi- nant process in central California. Three principal tectonic environments are pre-

California Geology

September 1979

served in the lithologic record - the lub- duction zone, the intervening aro-trench gap, and the volcanic-plutonic arc. Evi- dence supports the existence of at least one marginal basin. In addition, both oblique rifting and continental fragmenta- tion. large-scale strike-slip faulting. and probably subcrustal erosion as well. have caused the truncation of pre-existing structural trends.

Klamath Mountains Province

The Klamath Mountains mark the site of a seaward prograding continental as· sembly. The late Paleozoic process of tec· tonic imbrication along east-dipping thrust faults continued throughout Meso- zoic time. with the western Paleozoic and Triassic belt (North Fork, Hayfork and Rattlesnake Creek units). the western Ju· rassic belt (Galice and Rogue Forma- tions), and the Franciscan terrane occupying successively more oceanward positiollJl along the western margin of North America. Ophiolitic slabs and slices, such as the Josephine ultramafic complex (possibly correlative with the Smartville block of the northern Sierra Nevada and the Great Valley block) arc obducted remnants of the suture zones along which these lithotectonic belts have been jw:taposed. The Franciscan Com- plex. which is confIned to the Coast Ranges, lies tectonically beneath the South Fork Mountain thrust and repre- sents voluminous late Mesozoic episodic offscrapings from the subducting slab. as well as exotic lithologic entities brought in by oblique convergence (Alvarez and oth· ers, 1979). In contrast, the two older, more easterly Klamath Mountains belts each contain telescoped lithic remnants of probable subduction zone, arc-trench gap. and volcanic island arc regimes (Ir- win, 1972; Burchfiel and Davis. 1975). The entire Klamath Mountains province has been intruded by discrete, pre-Creta- eeous calc-&kaline plutollJl. High-pres- sure subduction zone recrystallization is indicated by isolated tectonic blocks of 214-223 m.y. old blueschist in the Hay- fork and North Fork terrane, and blues- chist of unknown age in the eastern Paleozoic and Triassic belts. Thus. addi- tions to the Klamath Mountains conti- nental crust during this time period involved both surficial accretion and deep -seated emp1acement.

Sierra Nevada Province

Farther to the southeast, the Sierra Ne- vada and White-Inyo Ranges are domi- nated by coalescing granitic plutonll

(Bateman

and

Eaton,

1967;

Bateman,

1974). AJthoU8h the earliest bodies are as old as Triassic, the major bath- olithic units are Cretaceous in age (photo 2). Five major intrusive episodes in the Late Triassic-Late Cretaceous time span are recognized (Kistler and others, 1971). These epochs, each of which in- volved intrusive events over a 10-15 m.y. interval, are separated in time by about 30 m.y. The initial mSrr'Sr ratios of the gra- nitic rocks appear to reflect the relative proximity to the Mesozoic continental margin (Kistler and Peterman, 1973). Evidently the magmas interacted isotopi- cally with the pre-existing crust during assimilAtion or anatexis, or the melts were derived from isotopically distinct portions of the upper mantle. All of the batholithic rocks possess textures indicating emplace- ment as crystal mushes - hence it is dif- ficult to see how the magmas could represent uncontaminated, high-temper- ature liquids derived directly from the mantle.

Remnants of the volcanic country rock into which the plutons were intruded, such as the rhyodacitic Ritter sequence, are confined to central and eastern Sierra Nevada roof pendants. Eastward-dipping reverse faults in the Western Foothills belt have juxtaposed oceanic crust against the continental margin (Saleeby, 1978; 1979; Saleeby and others, 1978). This tec- tonic regime, the Logtown Ridge-Mari- posa-Smartville complex, contains subduction zone olistostromes, ophiolites, calc-alkaline volcanic island-arc rocks (andesites and dacites), and eugeoclinal sedimentary rocks. The Logtnwn Ridge-

Figure 6 Plate tectonic setting of Cali- fornia during the Nevadan orogeny (Late Triassic-late Jurassic Period). After VBr-

ious sources. including Dickinson in press.

Mariposa--Smartville complex, equivalent to Rogue--Galice-Josephine units of the Klamath Mountains, is predominantly early to mid-Mesozoic in age. The com· plex lies oceanward from the more east- erly, predominantly Paleozoic sectiOn. In general, stratigraphic tops of the units face eastward in both younger and older western Sierra Nevada terTanes (Bateffien '

and Eaton, 1967).

Although some older ophiolitic units, such as the Kings-Kaweah complex, seem to have boen tectonically trans-

ported

thousands of kilometers

north-

ward

during early

Mesozoic sea floor

spreading, the northwest-trending tec- tonostratigraphic and batholithic belts in the Sierra Nevada seem to reflect stages involving large components of oblique li- thospheric plate convergence (figure 6). The Sierra Nevada foothills suture consti- tutes the contact between Mesozoic accre- tionary terrane and the more easterly Paleozoic basement terrane. The Klamath Mountains and the Sierra Nevada are cor· relatable in terms of their petrotectonic histories (Davis, 1969); but the Sierra Nevada terrane probably represents expo- sure of somewhat deeper structural levels than the Klamath Mountains. Westward movement of the Klamath Mountains complex relative to the Sierra Nevada belt appears to have begun by the end of Early Cretaceous time (Jones and Irwin, 1971). Total left-lateral strike slip displacement on this series of tear faults was approxi- mately 100 km.

Coast Ranges Province

The Great Valley-Franciscan couplet lies on the Pacific Ocean side of the Klam· ath-Sierran volcanic-plutonic belt. Al- though its plate tectonic setting has been recently reinterpreted as a striko-slip col- lage (Jones and others, 1978), this pair of lithologic belts has been widely recog· nized as a classically developed arc- trench gap section and trench milange, respectively (Dickinson, 1970; Page, 1978). Both assemblages consist chiefly of poorly sorted, flrst-cycle clastic sedi- ments derived in large part from the adja- cent calc-alkaline volcanic-plutonic arc (Dickinson and Rich, 1972; Jacobson, 1978). At least the Cretaceous portion of the Great Valley sequence represents a miogeoclinal wedge laid down on the wes- ternmost Sierra Nevada, Klamath Moun- tains, Salinian block, and Peninsular Range basement and immediately sea· ward oceanic crust-all generally regard- ed as portions of the North American lithospheric plate. In contrast, the Fran- ciscan coherent turbidites and sedimen-

tary mBaDges, representing mid-submarine fan and olistostromal units, respectively, were deposited exclu- sively on an allochthonous oceanic su~ strate---the capping crust of one or more paleopacific plates (figure 7).

CRETACEOUS-EARLY TERTIARY

Frmciscon subdue/ion

""""".'

,"c.

·~.:~<~·:':;~~L- ~~.

.

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\

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\

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va

I.·.·

\.'.i.·.·

";"

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P,

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Figure 7

nia during tha Cordilleran orogeny (Creta- ceous-Early Tertiary Period). After vBrious

sources, including Dickinson. in press.

Plate tectonic setting of Califor-

Much of the Franciscan Complex has been thoroughly tectonized in contrast to the rather orderly Great Valley sequence. The two terranes are juxtaposed along the generally east-dipping Coast Range thrust and related faults (Bailey and oth· ers, 1970) (photo 3). Movement along this system may have OCCllITed at various times in the Cretaceous and early Tertiary Periods subsequent to initiation of the subduction zone about ISO m.y. ago. Prior to the westward movement of this junc- tion, the convergent lithospheric plate boundary lay roughly 100 kIn to the east in the vicinity of the Sierran western Foothills bell. The time of step-out must have followed generation of the Great Valley ophiolite at 155 ± 5 m.y. ago (Lanphere, 1971; Hopson and others, t 975), but before deposition of the overly- ing Tithonian cherts 140 m.y. ago (Pes~ sagno, 1973). Alternatively, Schweikert and Cowan (1975) have suggested that the ophiolite represents oceanic crust flooring a marginal basin which lay im· mediately to the west of an east-facing western Sierran island arc. Although large components of northward move- ment of the oceanic lithosphere have been postulated (Jones and others, 1978), the contrasts in deformation and in inferred pressures of metamorphic recrystalliza- tion across the Coast Range thrust system

require periods of rapid convcrgmoc and profound underlIow of the Franciscan ter- l'UIe prior to decoupling from the sub- ducting slab (Ernst, 1965, 1911; Suppe,

1972).

Peninsular Ranges/Related Areas

Most of the Mesozoic volcanic and gra- nitic rocks of the Mojave Desert (includ- ing the San Bernardino Mountains), the granitic sliver that constitutes the Salinian block, and the Peninsular Ranges bath- olith represent southward prblongations of the Klamath-Sierra NC'lada volcanic- plutonic arc. These units mark the mid to late Mesozoic continental margin of North America, although Cenozoic tran- slations along the San Andreas tnnsform system have displaced segments of this temme 300 k.m to as much as 550 k.m northwest of their original positions (Page, in press).

Plutons in the Peninsular Ranges are generally similar to plutons in the Sierra Nevada. The more mafic plutons in the Peninsular Ranges possess low initial lIISr;e'Sr ratios and exhibit unfractionated rare earth element patterns. These mafic plutons occur on the west side of the Pe- ninsular Ranges. The more silicic, more potassic, plutons with higher lIISr;e'Sr ratios are situated progressively farther east. In addition, the age of post-Jurassic granitic emplacement and crystallization tends to decrease towards the craton. Plu- tons on the south and west are character- iz.ed by very high KlRb ratios, analogous to isotopically primitive island arcs; this ratio decreases in granites of the northern and eastern Peninsular Ranges: Gastil and others (1978) have proposed that the western, more mafic portion of this ter- rane was an island arc constructed on oce- anic basement, whereas the more easterly volcanie-plutonic belt was sited near the North American continental margin. Eastward consumption along two parallel subduction zones is presumed to have obliterated the hypothesized intervening marginal basin, with collision and fmal suturing occurring in earliest to mid--Crc- tac.eous time.

Southern Extent of Great Valley - Franciscan Couplet

The California borderland, including the islands of Santa Catalina, Cedros, and San Benitos, as well as Palos Verdes peninsula and San Sebastian Vizcaino peninsula, contains the southern equiva- lents of the Great Valley-Franciscan cou- plet. The presence of this terrane, although poorly exposed and complexly

"l T S,'ve'. p.'.""o' cOmmunoc.lIon. 1978

faulted ~

late

marking the western termination of the North American lith08pberic plate. The

great width of this terrane suggests tec- tonic duplication accompanying strike- slip faulting (Howdl and Vedder. in

preu).

IUpporta the theory d a

Mesor.oic convergent boundary

Transverse Ranges Province

The Transverse Ranges in general, and the San Gabriel Mountains in particular, contain some of the most puzzling Meso- zoic rocks exposed in the state. The a1kaI- ic 220 :!: 10 m.y. old Lowe Granodiorite has intruded the Precambrian and Paloe> zoic(?)scctions. Plutons of early Triassic age, which are similar to plutons in the San Gabriel Mountains, have been em- placed in the Mojave Desert. San Bernar- dino Mountains, and the Wbite-Inyo Range (Miller, 1977; 1978). The occur- rence of these plutons possibly indicates the onset of Mesozoic lithospheric plate convergence and inferred deep-seated partial fusion of subducted, eclogitized oceanic crust. This Mesozoic volcanic- plutonic terrane passed eastward to a "shallow" back--arc sedimentary basin in the eastern Mojave Desert (Burcbfiel and Davis, 1975). The San Gabriel Mountains are also the site ofseveral Cretaceous gra- nitic intrusions, which have induced a metamorphic overprinting on the adja- cent country rocks.

About 55-60 m.y. ago, this calc-al.k.a- line plutonic arc complex apparently was tectonically transported en mass northeastward over the eugeoclinaJ Pelo- na Schist terrane along the gently west- dipping Vincent thrust (Ehlig, in press; Graham and England, 1976). The Pelona Schist (Orocopia) protolith was depos- ited in a late Mesozoic back-arc basin which may have been a southwesterly, more oceanic extension of the shallow depositional basin of the eastern Mojave continental regime. After deposition, the rocks were deformed and recrystallized during southwestward subduction accom- panying latest Cretaceous closure and de- struction of the depositional trough (Haxel and Dillon, 1978). Evidence im- plying the above modd includes areal and structural disposition of the Pelona Schist, and both relict volcanoclastic and new, relatively high-pressure meta- morphic mineral assemblages. Fragments of this hypothesized marginal basin se- quence arc dispersed along the San An- dreas fault, extending from the C8Stern Transverse Ranges southeast to the Sal- ton Sea and into southwesternmost Ari-

rona.

California Geology

September 1979

The PcIona Schist bu alternatively been interpreted as a Franciscan equiva- lent that was initially deposited to the west, and later wu subducted to relatively &hallow depths far to the east beneath the cale--alkaline plutonic arc (Yeats, 1968; Burchfiel and Davis. in press). The rocks sub3equc:ntly were displaced upwards to reappear in windows framed by the over- lying granitic terrane.

Whatever the origin and sense ofmovc- ment on the Vincent--<>COCOpia thrust sys- tem, the rocks of both upper and lower plates seem to have reached their meta- morphic culminations in the present loca- tion relative to one another-hence recrystallization evidently outlasted thrusting. In contrast, the Coast Range thrust (with which this system is often compared) juxtaposed rocks of different metamorphic ages and pressure-tempera- ture conditions of formation-that is, thrusting outlasted metamorphism.

CENOZOIC HISTORY OF CALIFORNIA

Volcanism

Volcanic rocks, predominantly of calc- alkaline affinities, were erupted in much of the eastern portion of California during Cenozoic time. Cenozoic age volcanic rocks are also located sporadically in the California Coast Ranges and western Transverse Ranges. The Modoc Plateau consists of extnasive units (photo 4) representing the southern terminus of the currently active Cascade Mountain Range and its Tertiary volcanic arc and plateau basaltic precursors. Continental tholeiites, high-aluminum basalts, ande- sites and dacites are widespread in this northeastern portion of California. These volcanic rocks presumably represent the superjacent covering of continental mar- gin cale--alkaline plutonic rocks and back -arc lavas generated over the eastward- descending Farallon lithospheric plate.

Farther to the southeast, in the block faulted, extensional Basin and Range and Mojave Desert regions, alkalic basalts occur in the volcanic assemblage, indicating the derivation of magmas from different upper mantle (as well as crus- tal?) levels. This change in basaltic com- position may reflect the transition from early Tertiary plate convergence to the ongoing state of complex northwest- trending right-lateral transform motion in Miocene time. This transform motion also involved east-west crustal extension as well as local compression.

Photo 1. Pre~mbrian

anorthosit

-gabbro

-

complex in the San

Gabriel Mountains. The differentiated mafic pluton exposed in this

roadcut was formed by the settling of crystals from the magmo.

resulting in II cumulus. llIIysred structure. The top of the magma chamber is on the right indicating post-crystaUiUltion tilting of

about 90'. The light-colored diapiric structure in the left center of

the photo. which is composed almost exclusively of enorthosit9. clearly indicates the top of the magma chamber during crystlliliul-

lion. Photo by W.A. Srpnt.

Photo 2. Mesozoic granitic rocks form the steep eastern lace of

the Sierra Nevada; view from lone Pine. in Owens Valley. looking west. The Alabama Hills, composed of Mesozoic volcanic and granitic plutonic rocks. occupy the foreground. The earthquake of 1872 occurred along the Owens Vallev fault. a segment of which passes ecross the foreground just beyond the fence. Photo by

~WA. Bf)'lInt.

Photo 3. Deformed segment of the Soda Creek thrust. a seg-:-" ment of the Coast Range thrust (1). in the Coast Ranges. south of

Clear lake:

Knoxville Formetion is to the left of the fault zone: serpentinite lies

to the right of the fault. The Knoxville Formation is the basal mem.- ber of the miogeoclinal Great Vallev seQuance. The isolated ser- pentinite at this location may belong to the eugeoclinal Franciscan Complex. but post Mesoloic deformation has obscured the evi-

dence. Phoro by WA. Bry4nl.

view east. Sheared mudstone of the Opper Jurassic

-

Photo 4. Surprise Vallev fault line scarp. looking south-southwest from Surprise Valley. CenOloic Werner basalts comprise the tilted fault block of the Warner Range (background). The structural geologyl in this portion of northeasternmost California is char- acteristic of the Basin and Range geomorphic pro- vince. but the lithology is more representative of the Modoc Plateau geomorphic province. Photo by

WA.8ry4nt.

california Geology

September 1979

193

l'binping of the crust and uaociated volcaniam. aloog a northern extrapolation

or the Eut Pacific Rise (Menard, 1964)

may rdlect baek--&rC spreading in the Ba~ rio and Range province (Stewart. 1978). The top of the low-velocity zone in the mantle (asthenoephere) is at the base of thie attenuated crust, and along with high beat now measurements, indicates the pn:IeDt-day cxiste:nce of a diffuse mantle heat source beneath the Basin and Ranac province. Ovcrridinl of the East Pacific Rise can be inferred from eumination of

figme 2.

The Coast Ranges and western portion of the Transverse Ranges bear evidence of

widespread basaltic and calc-alkaline vol- canism and hypabyssal intrusion from late Oligocene time to the present. These

importance.

rocks

are

of

secondary

however. compared to the voluminous clastic 5Cdimcntary units. Igneous activity appears to be related to a thcnnal event associated with the proJI'CSSively pa.ter over-riding of the Rut Pacific Rise thcr~ mal anomaly commencinl approximately

29 m.y. ago

(Atwater, 1970; Hawkins,

1970). The shallow level of derivation of the melts is indicated by the absence of

alkali bualts and hypcral.kalic felsic plugs.

Depositional Basins

Cenozoic marine depositional basins covCl'Cd most of the western half of the ttate but are curTeI1tly mueb reduced in areal extent to the present-day narrow continental shelves and the moderately broad southern California borderland. In contrast, continental deposition has pm· cecdc:d at high local rates in the Basin and Ilangc province, and in. parts of the Great Valley, the Coast Rangcs, the MojaveDee- ert and the Tranlvcrse Ranges provinces.

Tectonic

Development

Both on-thore and off-6horc areas are

characteriz.ed by hent and graben strue-

tuns; the California Coast RanICS and borderland are also typified by moderate- ly intense folding. rdlcctinl loc:al com· pression. Increasing numbers of rotations and pu.U--.part structures associated with the San Andreu strike-slip system in westlm California arc being rccogniud (Crowell, 1974; Hall, 1978). Positive topographic areas along thiJ shear system reflect "locking bends" where excess mass has accumulated; the San Gabriel Moun- taim represent a prime cu.mple. Because

the transform boundary transects the con~

tinental margin at a low angle. northwest~ ward tranlportation of the Sa- liniaa-Nacimicnto block relative, to the

".

North American plate

volcurio-plutoaic an; aro-tn::neb pp,

duplicated the

and aubductioo. zone in the ocntral Coast

Ranges and borderlaDd (Crouch, 1979).

Although the pracnt-day kinematic deformation is complex, movement along the San Andreas fauJt system in general appcan to have stepped eastward with time. Earlier stages of Ilip on the San An- dreas fault system occumd chiefly along the San Simeon-HOllgri, southern Califor· nia borderland complex. and San Gabriel faults during slivering of the Salin.ian block (Hall, 1975; Crowell, 1975; Howell and Vedder. 1978). Movement along the fault system has gradually int.cnsified on later breaks sueb as the San Jacinto and Hayward faults (AlIco, 19S7; Garfunkc1, 1974) (figure 2). This eastward migra. tion of the active strike-elip zone proba- bly is a result ofthe progrcssiveovcrr:iding of the East Pacific Rise by the North American continental crust--capped li- thospheric plate.

Measurements of the ~cot mag- netism of Miooene volcanic rocks from the western Transvcnc Ranges indicate Cl'Up- tions at about 10" lower magnetic latitude. An approximate 7S clockwise rotation of these units occurred durinl tectonic transportation to their present location (Kamerling and Luyendyk, 1m; 1979), Such rotation implies that individual scg- ments of the weatlm Transverse Ranges may have behaved as coherent blocks caught in the master right-latera1 San An- dreas fault syst.cm.

Eaatcrnmost

California

during

Cenozoic time was the lite of subdue. tion zone ca1c-&lbline igneous activity-Ioc:ally cxtinJUished by the ces- sation of convergent lithospheric plate motion-block faultinl and extension, uplift (espccially in the batholithic ter· ranes), and local continental aUuviation. Western California was subjected to wid&- spread but retreating marine embay- menta, restricted igneous activity of exclusively shallow derivation, loc:al com· pression and oblique rifting-all associat- ed with an early stage of oblique subduction, gradually s.ucceeded by the North American-Pacific transform. sys- tem. This major strain system, although simply expressed within the ocean basin, has taken on a very complex aspect in the medium of sialic crust.

Sea Level Fluctuations

A final point of interest involvcs fluc- tuations in sea level. While studyinl the bathymetry of mid-occanic rift systems,

California Geology

September 1979

PatIClIlJ and Sclater (1977) recopiu:d that water depths are rouJbly proportion- al to the age of the oceanic lithosphere; hence as the mean age of the ocean buin5 increases, sea water tends to drain from the contincots. Diclrinson (in press) has pointed out that world-wide marine regressions should be characteristic of times in which yOUDI oceanic crust- capped lithosphere is preferentially sub- ducted-as wouJd be the case when North America encroached upon the Rut Pa- cific Risc. Thus the local obliteration of this ridge system alonl the California coast in mid--Cenozoic time could have been responsible for the ubiquitous hiatus in shallow marine deposition on the conti- nents and the flood of t.crTcstriaillCdimen· tation durinl OliJOCClle time. It also seems likely that regional elevation of the lithOlphere would accompany the over- riding of the ridge crest by the leading edge of the continent.

GLOSSARY

'" parI. after GloSS8ry of Geologr.

American Geological Instmlla.

/972.

allochthon - a mass of rocks that has baen moved Irom its original site 01 origin by tectonic fOfces. as in a thrust sheet,

anatexis - melting of preexisting fock

aulacogen - a fault-bounded i"tracratonic lrough or graben.

autochthon - a body of rocks that remains al its sile of origin, where il is rOOled 10 its basemenl I rocks may be mildly to considerably deformed) .

cralon - a part of the Earlh's crust which has attained stability. with litlle defor- mation over a long period of time.

eugeoellne - area of contlnenul rise where strata areldeposi ted on the ocean floor beyond thelcontlnentll slope; vo I canogen 1c I sed; ments\are derived from the landward arc.

hypabyssal - pertaining to an igneous intru- sion. or to the rock of that intrusion. whose depth is intermediate between that of abyssal (great depth) and the surface.

island arc - curved chain of iSlands. gener- ally convex toward the open ocean, margined by a deep submarine !fInch and enclosing e deep sea basin.

lithosphere - Upper, relatively brittle layer of the Earth.

lithotectonic -

a

term

used

to de-

scrlbe l an

assemblage

of

rocks

formed

environment.

in

a

particular

tectonic

megashear - a strike-slip lault 01 such eK- tent that it underlies the entire orogenic belt.

miogeocline -area of continental rise stra- ta deposited on the ocean Iloor beyond the continental slope: volcanism is not associated with sedimentation.

Olistrostrome - a sedimentary deposit con- sisting 01 a chaotic mass 01 intimately miKed heterogeneous materials that ac- cumulate asa semilluid body by subma- rine gravity sliding or slumping of unconsolidated sediments. It isa mapp- able. lens-like stratigraphic unit lacking true bedding but intercalated among normally bedded sequences.

ophiolite - II group of mafic and ul- tramafic igneous rocks ranging from splliteand basalt to gabbro and peridotite, IncludIng rocks rich in serpentine, chlorite, epi- dote, lind albi te derived from them by later metamorphism,whoseori- gin is associ ,Hed wi th the forma- tion of a sprellding center.

petrotectonic - structu,al petrology. in- clud""g or eKtending to analysis 01 the movements that produced the rock's labric.

Phan~"ozolc - that part 01 geologic lime lor which. in the corresponding rocks. the evidence ollile is abundant (espe· cially higher lormsl .

plotolilh - unmetamolphosed rock from which a given metamolphic rock was formed by metamorphism.

stnke-sllp - in a lault the component of the movemenl or slip that is parallel to lhe strike of the fault I horizontal displace- ment)

"Sr/"S, - stronlium isotopic ratios used to determine the nature of the parent rock from whIch magnas are derived and the amounl 01 contamination. The Sr lalio is usually low for most oceanIc igneous rocks and hIgher for continental rocks

lectonlC erOSIon - removal by subduction 01 malerial from the underside of an overridIng lithospheric plate.

thermal aureole - a zone surrounding an igneous Int,uSlon in which the country rock shows the effects 01 contact metamorphism.

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Schweikert, R.A

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the continental

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menacher, D., 1978, Mcsoxoic history of

acoteetonic

of

California

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Morgln,

G.1.,

and

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rocks of

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".

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ad&n

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Monica

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Tectonic

rotations of the Santa

3489-3512.

Lanphere, M.A., 1971, Age of the Mesozoic oceanic crust in the California Coast Ranges: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. g2, p. 3209-3212. Menard, H.W., 1964, M.rine geology of the Pacific: McGraw-Hill Co., New York, 271 p. Miller, CF., 1977, Early alkalic plUlonism in the cale-alkalic batholithic belt of Califor- nia; Geology, v. 5, p. 685-688. Miller, CF., 1978, An early Mesozoic alkalic magmatie belt in westem North America in Howell, D.G., and McDougall, K.A., Edi· tors, Mesozoic paleogeography of the: west- em United States: Pacific Section, Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralo- gists, PaeificCoast Paleogeography Sympo- sium 2, p. 163-187. Page. B.M., 1978, Franciscan melanges com- pared with olistostromes ofTaiwan and It- aly: TectonophysiC$, v. 47, p. 223-246. Page, B.M., in press, The soulhern Coast Ranges (Chapter 13) in Ernst, W.G., Edi- tor, The geotectonic development of Cali- fornia (W.W. Rubey Volume: No. I). Parsons, Barry: and Sclater, J.H., 1977, An, analysis of the variatm ofocean floor bath- ymetry IIDd heat flow with age: Journal of

Geophysical Research,

82, p. 803-g27.

Pessagno, E.A., Jr., 1973, Age and significance of radiolarian chcns in the California Coast Ranges: Geology, v. I, p. 153-156. Poole, F.G., and Sandberg, C.A., 19n, Missis- sippian paleogeography and tectonics of the western United Stales in Stewart, J.H., Ste- vens, C.H., and Fritsche, A.E., &li1Ol'$, Pa- leozoic paleogeography of the western United States: Pacific Section, Society of Economic Paleontologists and Minera1o- gists, Pacific Coast Paleogeography Sympo- sium I, p. 67-86. Saleeby, J.B., 1978, Kings River ophiolite. southwest SierTll Nevada foothills, Califor- nia: Geological Society of America Bulle- tin, v. 89, p. 617-636. Saleeby, J.B., 1979, Kaweah serpentinite me lange, southwest Sierra Nevada foothilb,

GaJifomia Geology

September 1979

California: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 90, p. 29-46.

Saleeby, J.B., Good

Busby, CJ., 1978, Early Mc:sowic paleotec- tonic-paleogeographic reconslruction of the southern SiClTa Nevada region in Ho- wcll, D.G., and McDougall, K.A., Editors, Mesowic paleogeography of the western United States: Pacific Section, Sociely of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralo- gists, Pacific Coast Paleogeography Sympo- sium 2, p. 311-3l6. ScholL D.W., and Vallier, T.L., 1979, Tectonic erosion al a convergenl margin, a mech- anism that could have contributed to the truncation of Cordilleran geosynclinal trends: Geological Society of America, Ab- stracts with Programs, v. II, p. 126.

-in,

S.E., Sharp, W.O., and

Schwcickert,R.A.,andCowan,D.S.,1975,Early

Mesozoic tectonic evolution of the western Sierra Nevada,California:Geological Soci- ety of America Bulletin, '0'.86, p.1329-1336. Silver, L.T., and Anderson, T.H., 1974, Possi- ble left-Ialeral early to middle Mesozoic disruplion of the southwestern North American craton margin: Geological Soci- ety of America, Abstracts with Programs, v. 6, p. 955. Silver, L.T., McKinney, C.R., Deutsch, S., and Bolinger, J., 1963, Precambrian age: deter- minations in the western San Gabriel Mountains, CaJifomia: Journal ofGeology, v. 71, p. 196-214. Stewart, J.H., 1972, Initial deposits in Ihe Cor- dilleran geosyncline-cvidence of a late Pre- cambrian « gSO m.y.) continental separalion: Geological Socic:ly of America Bulletin, v. 83, p. 1345-1360. Stewan, J.H., 1978, Basin-range structure in weslem North America-a reviC'N: in Smith, R.B., and Eaton, G.P., Editors, Cenozoic

tectonics and

regional

geophysics of the

western Cordillera: Geological Society of America Memoir 152. Stewart, J.H., and Poole, F.G., 1974, Lower Paleozoic and uppc:rmost Precambrian Cordilleran miogeocline, Great Basin, west- ern United States in Dickinson, W.R.,&li_ tor, Tectonics and sedimentation: Society of Economic Paleontologists and Minera1- ogists, Special Publication No. 22, p. 23-57.

Stewart, J.H., and Suczc:k., CA., 1977, Cambri- an and latest Precambrian paleogeography and lectonics in the VfCStem United States in Stewart, J.H., Stevens, C.H., and Frit-

Editors, Paleozoic paleogeogra-

phy of the western United States: Pacific Section, Society of Economic Paleontolo- gists and Minera1ogists, Pacific Coast Paleogeography Symposium I, p. 1-11. Suppc. John, 1972, Interrelationships of high- pressure metamoll)hism, deformation, and sedimentation in Franciscan tectoniC$, USA:

24th International Geological CongTCSS, Montreal, Reports Section 3, p. 552-559.

Windley, B.F., 1977, The evolving continents:

John Wiley &; Sons, NC'N York, 385 p. Yeats, R.S., 1969, Rifting and rafting in the southern California borderland in Dickin· son, W.R., and Grantz, Arthur, Editors, Conference on Geologic Problems of the San Andreas F.ult System, Proceedings, Stanford, California, 1967: Stanford. Uni- versity Publications in Geological Sciences,

sche, A.E

vol. 11, p. 307-322.

~

Thirty new revised Special Studies Zones.ups were issued by the California Division of Mines and Geology on July I, 1979. These nups were distributed to the alTocted cit~, counties, and Slateagcncies for preliminary review. Cities and coun- t~ review the maps and submit com- ments to the State Mining and Geology Board. Revisions are nude where war- ranted. The official maps will be issued by the Slate Geologist on January I, 19S0.

C'l,et tnd CQun"es lI11eCled bv p,opoHld nllw Of ,evlsed SpeClel Slud,es Zooet tl'lOWO 00 p.elimi- n•• v '.Vlew mllps of Julv I. 1979

CITIES

COUNTIES

B.e.

COfon. O•• n lola'

S4:1",.gs

F,etnOtl'

Hem"l

L,ke EISI"",e

Imp.".1

Un,on CIty

O•• n08

YOf~ L,nda

R,

tod.

$.lin .Jtc,nIO

$.lin O

go

These maps constitute the sixth group of zone maps issued in compliance with the Alquist-Priolo Special Sludies ZDnes Act of 1972. Under this Act, the State Geologist is required to delineate Special Studies Zones to encompass traces of p0- tentially and rcoently active faults that "constitute a potential hazard to struc- tures from surface faulting and fault creep" (Section 2622. Chapter 7.5, Divi- sion 2, Public Resources Code). In com- pliance with the Act, the State Geologist has a continuing program to revise exist- ing wncs and delineate new ones.

Special Studies Zones arc delineated on topographic quadrangle maps at 8 scale of one inch equals 2,000 feet ( 1:24,000). A total of267 official maps have been issued to date. These maps may be seen at the plannins departments of the alTcctc:d cit- ies and counties or at any CDMG District Officc (los Angdes, Sattamento, San Francisco). Maps also may be purchased from Blue Print ScrvK:e Company, 149 Second Street, San Francisco 94111 (Phone (415) 497-87(0). There is a minimum charge, plus handling and C.O.D. charges. The maps shook! be or- dered by quadrangle name (see table).

Details of the Alquist-Priolo Special Studies ZDnes Act arc described in CDMG Special Publication 42. Fault Hazard Zones in California. This publica- tion may be purchased OYCT the counter at any CDMG District Officc or ordered by mail from California Division of Mines and Goology, P.O. Box 2980, Sacramento,

CA 95812, for $I.OO

Eari W. Hart.

SPECIAL STUDIES ZONES MAPS

NEW AND REVISED

F,gUUI 1

Publicetion .2. Jenue.y 1977 edition.

LocatIons 01lh8 30 mlllp& 01 new

or .evlsed ronas. Supplement NoS to Spec.al

-

01 new or .evlsed ronas. Supplement NoS to Spec.al - I -{
I
I

-{

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451

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,

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13

14

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16

-

:

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--

-

7

l:

1

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o

,

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I

I

:50 WILES

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I

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21

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1

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l

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21

23

24

25 I

21 !2J

21 23 24 25 I 2 1 ! 2 J ," , Table 1 Quad.angle Meps

," ,

Table

1

Quad.angle Meps of new and reVIsed Speciel Studies zones ,ssued on July I.

1979 lor preliminary r8Y18W (numbers mdlCele loceliOn of quedrengle on Indell mepl

-,

,

,

-.

-, -, -, -,

,

"

"

" "

" "

" "

'" "

AIba.h,.

EI

"",e

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Mu'''lle

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Pech.nge

YOI'~ LJnde

Ptll<lo Oem

Who'.w "

oe.,! HOI $ptlngt

s

Pelm. "'.Ilev

San JactnlO

Heme,

Corona Soult>

Lake Malh"""s

Pala

M

W •• ne Ranch",

, ReVIsed rone map

Gnde

Rel\Ct>

California Geology

september 1979

" ~~

n

"

,.

,.

E:enhquek. v-V

Monumenl Peel<

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"'''ovo Tap,lI<Io

nl. S4:1"ngs

,. S_nav P ".

Call1zo Min

8,.wl6y

AlamollO

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"

-" -"

-'"

"

'"

1977

CALIFORNIA

1978

MINING

REVIEW

Thelollow,ngUKcerptsaretakenlrom MINERALS IN THE ECONOMY OF CALIFORNIA. Slate Mineral Profile 1979. by John McWilliams, Slate Liaison Ofheer, U S Bureau of Mines: James F DaViS. State Geolog,st. California DiVISIon of Mines and Geology:

and William B. Clalk, Geologist. California Division 01 Mlnesand Geology. SMP was published by the BUfaau of Mines. U.S. Department of the Interior. in cooperation with California Department of Conservation. ,Editor

A total of 34· non-fuel mineral com- modities are produced in California (ta-

bles I and 2). California leads the nation

in the

land cement, diatomite, sand and gravel, rare earths. and tungsten. It is third in the

production of crude petroleum and is a

major source of natural gas, salt, clay, stone, magnesium compounds, sodium compounds, gypsum, iron ore and talc.

production of asbestos, boron, Port-

MINERALS PRODUCED

Non-Metallic Minerals

Excluding natural gas, natural gas liq- uids, and crude petroleum, mineral pro- duction in California increased 6% in 1978 to reach $1.4 billion and rank third in the nation. Cement was in the lead with 32% of the total value. Boron, with 19%, and sand and gravel, with 18% of the total mineral value were next. These three commodities aecount for $%3 million or 69% of the total mineral value and 94% of the increase in value in 1978.

Production of cement declined 282,000 Ions (3%) in 1978 but ils overall value increased 10% to $445 million because of higher unit value. Production of boron was up 4% to 1.5 million tons and its value was up 10% to $260 million. Sand and gravel production remained essential- ly unchanged (up less than 1%) and val- ue was up only slightly (2.8%) to $258 million.

Other significant changes in non-me- tallic mineral commodities include asbes- tos, which declined 10% in quantity and 5% in total value, and lime, which de- creased 13% in quantity and 20% in val- ue. Feldspar, lithium' compounds, magnesium compounds, sodium carbon- ate. sodium sulfate, clay, diatomite, gyp- sum and stone all declined in quantity but only lithium compounds, feldspar. and so- dium sulfate declined significantly in val-

'98

ue. Non-metallic minerals comprise 90% of the total value of non-fuel mineral pro· duction in California. Preliminary pro- duction data for oil and gas show a slighl dedineofO.6% and 1.3% respectively ac· cording to the California Division of Oil and Gas.

Metallic Minerals

The important metallic minerals are iron ore. which declined in production in 1978 but maintained its ovcrall value; mo- lybdenum. which declined sharply in pro- duction but increased substantially in value; tungsten. which increased strongly in quantity but only slightly in value; and rare earths which increased in both quan- tity and value. These four minerals com- prise 99% of the value of metallic mineral production or $138 million.

Gold declined 20% in production but

registered a 4 %

increase in total value

because of higher unit prices. In 1978, sil-

ver increased 5% in quantity and II % in value compared with 1977. Copper in- creased 18% in quantity and 17% in val- ue over 1977.

Oil and Gas

California continues to be a major source of oil and natural gas (table la). Oil was produced from 234 active fields in 16 counties at a rate of more than one million barrels per day. Approximately 50% of the state's total oil production was from Kern County. During 1978 com- bined State and Federal.off-shore fields accounted for 17% of the oil and 7% of the natural gas produced in California. Most of the State off-shore production came from the Wilmington and Hunting- ton Beach fields. All of the Federal off- shore production came from Carpi:nteria and Dos Cuadras fields. About 50% of the natural gas production in 1978 was associated with oil production. The rest came from natural gas fields largely

california Geology

September 1979

(95%) located in District 6 which com- prises the area north and east of San Fran- cisco Bay. In 1978, 313 billion cubic feet of natural gas were produced, a decrease of 1.3% from 1977.

GOLD

Troy Gold Industries of Alberta, Can- ada, reopened Ihe Blazing Star Mine in the Mother Lode country near West Point, Calaveras County. Up to 165 tons of ore per day can be processed by the combination gravity and notation mill to yield I to 1.5 ounces' of gold per ton. Tungsten, copper, and silver arc also pro- duced. The mine was first located in 1857 and worked in the oxidized zone to a deplh of 400 feet.

GEOTHERMAL

RESOURCES

Union Oil Company of California re-

portedly has proven geothermal reserves equivalent to 165 million barrels of oiL The company is operator and half owner of The Geysers operation in northern California, the only commercial geother- mal operation in the Uniled States and the largest in the world. The steam is used by Pacific Gas and Electric to power 12 elec- trical generators with a 10lal capacity of more than 500,000 kilowatts. The cost of geothermal sleam purchased by Pacific Gas and Electric at The Geysers increased from 14.18 mils per kilowatt hour to 16.02 mils per kilowatt hour but remains the

cheapest source of energy for

PO &E other

Ihan hydro-electric power. For compari- son, electrical energy from oil costs 45 mils per kilowatt hour. Geothermal ener- gy provides 6% of the electrical energy used by the company's 5.7 million cus- tomers in northern and central California.

The tOlal Geysers project is expected to eventually achieve a capacilY of 2 million kilowatts.

Additional sites drilled and tested by Union Oil Company of California are in the Brawley area in the Imperial Valley where the company has agreed to sell geo- thermal energy to Southern California Edison. The power company will build a l(),OOO Kilowatt generating plant to begin operation in 1981. This plant will test tbe economic and technologic feasibility of using the highly corrosive hot brines for generating electrical power. If successful, the agreement could lead to construction of as much as 460,CKlO kilowatts of capaci- ty. Other geothermal test sites in the Im- perial Valley include the Sallon Sea in the northern section and Heber in the south- ern section.

COAL RESOURCES

Ca1i£ornia has insignificant coal re- sources of its own but anticipates that as much as 15% of its energy needs may be provided by coal by 1990, up from the6% presently supplied, according 10 the State Energy Commission. Two applications for coal-using plants arc presently before the Commission: the Pacific Gas and Electric plant in northern California and

Southern California Edison Company's Coal Gasification Project. in San Bernardino County. ThiI 5-ycar

piJot. project will'testla, process developed

by Teuco, Inc., to produce

luting gas from coal to be used di- rectly in Southern California Edison's electric power generating plant at Dag- gett, 12 miles east of Barstow, California.

non-pol-

MINERALS IN THE ECONOMY

Employment in the mining industry averaged 37,000 in 1978, including oil and natural gas workers, earning a total of $687.7 million. The average annual wage was S18,587. About 0.4% of the State's non-agriculturallabor force is employed in mining. The average hourly wage was down 19% from 58.86 to 57.18, and aver- age weekly earnings were down 9% from 5373.01 to S34O.33 in 1977. Average hours of work per week increased from

42.1 to 47.4.

With nearly half (43 %) of California land under Federal ownership, revenue from mineral and oil and gas leases is sub-

stantial. In 1978, mineral leases on Fed- eral land returned over $2.9 million in royalties. On-shore oil and gas leases re- turned $16 million in royalties from oil and $4.5 million from natural gas. OfT- shore oil and gas leases returned SI1.7 million in oil royalties and over $314,000 in natural gas royalties. There was no commercial production of goothermal en- ergy from Federally leased land in 1978.

The State collects rents and royalties from mineral, oil and gas, and goothermal leases on State-owned lands and on lands for which the mineral rights are reservccl in whole or part to the State. For the peri- od ending June 30, 1979, mineral and dredging.royalties to the State areestimat- ed to be S339,500, oil and gas royalties are estimated at 587.2 million, and royalties from geothermal energy at $4.3 million. The latter funds are placed in a trust fund pending the outcome of litigation to deter- mine ownership of geothermal energy. At issue is the question of whether it should be regarded as a mineral with ownership by the mineral-rights holder, or as water owned by the holder of surface or water rights. At the Federal level, geothermal energy is regarded as a mineral.

Table I. Mineral Production in California 1917 '978 pi Min 1 Ou.n"ly ,- Vllu. OUln",y
Table
I.
Mineral Production in California
1917
'978 pi
Min
1
Ou.n"ly
,-
Vllu.
OUln",y
V.lu.
Ilhou
""11
(thou.""11
"'_"0.
on""
'on•.
76.207
HUn
A.m
t1•.cl2
B",on 1.4,,,,,,.,
u.
th"",
""
""
lOn'
~'m
~
C."",nl
-
w
w
w
M.~
•••
,as
•.-
W
P",tlo
,
00.
9.271
Cloy•
.,
00.
,.~
11.7'"
,.
2.016,
-
13"28
C""p., 1'<><:0
"'
~
~
Oi.,,,,,,i,
,
1>10 oont.nl ot 0'''. "0.)
.
o,t
'on•.
'h""
nd
ort
'O/l'
O~
-
.~
~-
G.m S,on
.
"4
~
"4
~
Gold I ,""O
"0 I
••
l>Ie
oon'.nl ot ",
"oy""ne
,.
~
.=
Gyp
,.,
•.=
til""'
""
oh""
'on•
'.m
,
,
,.~
1.0
,-
(,.oo
bItI
oon'.n' 01 ",
"0 I
""
'Onl .
lh.,
""
",1
lO/l.
M.,ou,¥
7&-1>"""" '11.1:0
- -
21.0'11
m
,9.1,9
w
.,
,-
W
Pumio.
til""
"" ""on 'Onl
,~
~
S."" •
,
G'
I.
00
,011.138
2S8.(XX1
.,
~$'
SI
'
I ,.oo
blo oon'.n' 0' ",
"0 I
'h"",
""
troy "",no••
A
Su",.
C'u
"
Ih.,
""
",t
Ion.
:l.Iml
lIO.loI6
-
~,oo
~.=
,=
.-
O'm."",o"
do
hlc:
""",I,on.
" "n
~
, ,
109.816
Zinc: ('00"".,.1>10 oon,."l ot ",
"0 I
00
Comb'
Iu. 01 o.lc:,um ohl",id •. O"bon diox"' •• I.ld
,. ~o" "". W"um oompo,,,,,, •• m.g
·
m oompound •. molybd.num. 1'00" p.'IU •. phosph.,. 'oot ('9771. po
um
II
"''''
11, m.,.1 oono'n".'''. "". """"um eo,bono'., """,oum
It.'•.
'ung",,,, oonc.nll.,•• ""
i'.m. indio.,
by Symbol W
241. '33
To'"
1.-ooo.'1!;g
I'
P•• limln
y. Nil. No' ••• ,I.b"
W W,'hlHlld '0 ••o'" <lIOClOoing incll.,"u.1 oomp.ny OO/lhd.nti.llnlo,m.,ion: •• Iu. Inc"""" wun ,·V
ot u.m. ,n.1 eoMolM ",OClOud·
XX Hol .pplk.t>lO I
'fI"
P,oduotlon •• m
by m,n.
"'''pmfln,.,
I
", ml,tl"blo p.oduotlon I 'fIO"'ding con
,mp'io"
by p.oduo.'11
Table
".
Oil and
Gas PrOduction
,n California'
1971
1976"
"17
19711"
C,ud. 0,1
N.,u,.1 G
On_ohor.
'hou
"" 12 s.lIon 1>1I
266.965
m.=
On_ohor.
m.lhO/l cubic I
'
297,767
O,.
Olt
",.
S,.,.
S,.,.
11I,196
15.000
00
00
11.237
F
I
12.3lXl
FOd
1
00
"
00
.~
ro,.1
00
:l.I9.161
~,
To'"
00
3'1.100
313.200
• 1976 Clhlo''''. 0.1."" G P,oduc,.on S,."
C.
""" N.w ",.n Op
"on. p,.lom'n
y '.1'0", PubloCI'oon No PAOJ.1A
"",c
"'S"""Y 01 C.IoI"'",". Oeplrtmon, 01 Conso, •• l,on
"P,elom'nI'y. F,g",
"me'" b
d on nine mon,h.
01 l"O,,,.o,,on
California Geology
september 1979
199
Table :t Mineral Production. Counties 01 California. 1977 COMMOOITY OUA",T'TY VALUE C.m.n' cw, ,,,,,.
Table :t
Mineral Production. Counties 01 California. 1977
COMMOOITY
OUA",T'TY
VALUE
C.m.n'
cw,
,,,,,.
2.042.(100
$81.2lli5.OCO
I th""
ndol
"'or,
C~y ••
$2.31'.(0)
~""
Al
A""IU\
0"'0"';'.
C
,
"'0" '0'"
,
-
Cyp"",,",
"""
~'''''
~,
'"mic.
IIftCW1 ,an.
'''''
-
-
Sand .nd C••v<ol
"'or,
'.~
1t1.393.QXl
,""'
~"
<- '.1fI3.(O)
S2.tifi1.QXl
,,-
Tung".n Co"",.n,
IIftCW1
5
0"" C
I
V~.QXl
".8'$.(0)
-, ,,,,,.
_-
To'"
'''''''''
SS.s:».1X:O
AL'iNE C""
--,-
To
-,
--
"".1'5.(0)
,~
_--
LAKE
-
-
~~
PumlC.
-~--
Sand."" C
,
'''''
, 'on.
S.nd .nd C
,
.""
on Ionl
~""
-""
To'.
~
LAIIEN
,""
To'"
=""
''''''IC.
, 'on.
A"ADOII
"""
send
,,-
, Cro".1
sho., ,an.
-=
'
'"""
ClOy'
120.000
"'0" 'on. >
11.082.1X:O
,,""
shott
'on.
1'
(0)
Sand .nd Cro
1
=
Of'lOn.
~.=
".nUJOO
To,.1
<- '"-''-'''--'''
",
"
LOI ANGlLEI
To,.1
CI.yo
n.=
"'Of' ton•.
,,~""
."~
L.m.
-
,~
Sond .nd C
I
"'Of' ton.
~~=
$ond .nd G
,
,,-
l.IS9'(o)
""-""""
or""".
".~
To'oI
Tung
,
CAIAVEIIAI
To"'l
A_ o
33.512
of'on 'on.
111.5OII.QXl
"AOEIIA
---.
C_n,
Cloyl
, -
NOlu." Goo
>
-
'umic.
Sond _G
""""ton.
<-
~""
<---- ,,~
11 •.wo.ooo
""""'",,1-
TOIOI
To''''
P3.2!;e'(o)
AlliN
-
COLUSA
_---
Cloy'_
--
Sand.nd Gro
'
S,one
'O~
shon 'onl
m""
$0"" ."" G
I
~=
CONTIIA COITA
Cloy
,-
$ofId
Ta",1
'91.(0)
"'or'
,on.
~'''''
MAIIIPO'A
S.nd .nd G•••• I
,,=
"'on ton.
.n<! Gr
1
=""
"'Ot' 'on•.
~=
12.9llO.QXl
.
5101'•
Stone
To'"
TOIOI
MENOOC.NO
DEL NOIlTE
$ond .fId C,.".I
S.nd
,
G,
I
~
"""'on.
1',2'6.1X:O
,,-
1511.000
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California Geology

5eptembel" 1979

201

Summary of Activities

STATE MINING AND GEOLOGY BOARD REPORT

California

Area (CDCA)

Desert

Conservation

The Board visited the Barstow area in April 1979 to observe the potential for mined lands reclamation in the desert. Two operating mines (NL industries' Hectorite mine and the Blue Star gold mine) and American Smelting &Rerming Company's Waterloo Project, low-grade silver deposit were toured. Operators at these sites discussed future reclamation plans with the Board. Visual impacts, dust generation, and reestablishment of vegetative habitat appeared to be the prin- cipal reclamation-related problems as- sociated with these operations.

Following the tour, representatives from the U.s. Bureau of Land Manage- ment discussed the Bureau's COCA study in a Mineral Resource Conservation Forum convened by the Board. Repre- sentatives from industry and from local, state, and federal agencies participated in this discussion.

The COCA study will provide recom- mendations for federal land-use decision making in the desert, an area comprising one-fourth of the state, and known for its high recreation and environmental values as well as great mineral potential. The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 requires that this study be completed and in the hands of Congress by September 30, 1980.

The Board is concerned that informa- tion on the mineral potential of the COCA is not commensurate with the scope of pending land-use decisions by the Federal Government. In cooperation with the Division of Mines and Geology, the Board is seeking ways in which the state can make available timely and effec- tive infonnation on mineral potential of the desert to the Federal Government.

The BL M was unable to offer much enlightenment in response to Board ques- tions on the effects of particular land management policies on mineral resource development. Of particular concern was the effect of wilderness designation on the development of adjacent mineral deposits and whether the maintenance of certain

2"

environmental standards in wilderness areas, particularly those connected with air pollution, would require similar stand- ards in proximity to wilderness areas. Such standards could prevent mining even though the mining activity is outside the wilderness area.

San Fernando Valley Classification

At the May 2S, 1979 meeting, the Board accepted from the State Geologist the first formal report on mineral lands classification. This report, entitled "Min- erai Land Classification of the Greater Los Angeles Areas: Parts I and li", iden- tifies sand and gravel deposits, and projects SO-year needs for these mineral resources, in the San Fernando Valley Re- gion. Other regions in the Los Angeles area will be classified in subsequent re- ports by the Division of Mines and Geol- ogy.

This report is precedent setting both in its content and scientific rationale. It is the fU'St formal mineral lands classifica- tion under California's Surface Mining and Reclamation Act, and thus estab- lishes the methodology for future classifi- cation programs. It represents the first stage of the Act's classification-designa- tion process which is a unique approach to the conservation and development of mineral resources through stale and local cooperative planning efforts.

Ventura County Classification Priorities'

The Board revised its classification pri- orities to move coastal Ventura County from Priority 3 to Priority I under urban areas. This action was taken in response to pending land-use decisions which threat- en the availability of aggregate resources in the area.

Ventura County is faced with a one- year deadline for completing an Environ- mental Impact Report. which is required before conditional use permits can be is- sued to sand and gravel operators in the lower Santa Clara River of coastal Ven- tura County. This area supplies about 90% of the sand and gravel for the Ven- tura-(hnard area. Ventura County Flood

California Geology

September 1979

Ventura County Flood California Geology September 1979 Stata Mining and Geology Board Chairman Robert H Twissl

Stata Mining and Geology Board Chairman Robert H Twissl on right} and Board mem- ber Raymond Krauss I center) watching Ray Lint's technIque lor separating gold lrom are coneentrates produced from his Blue Star mine in the CaliCO Mountains. San Bernardino County

Control District restnctlons on digging depths make it necessary to allow aggre- gate mining in areas outside the river's flood control channel or to import sand and gravel to assure a continued supply of construction aggregate.

The County officials and aggregate pro- ducers, as well as the State Geologist, feel that the classification of this area is essential for assessing existing re:serves and locating new aggregate resources.

For information on the Board's month- ly meetings and other activities, contact Douglas W. Sprague, Special Representa- tive, Department of Conservation, Room 1327, Sacramento, California 95814,

(916) 322-1082

Douglas W.Spraguc. ~

Condensed from a speech presented to the California Seismic safety Commission by Bruce A. Bolt on April 27.1979. Dr.Boll is the Director of the Seismographic Station at the University of California. Berk.eley.

REASSESSING THE EARTHQUAKE HAZARD IN CALIFORNIA

There are a number of connicting stands and interests that go into reassess- ing the present earthquake hazards in California, such as the improved con- struction of public schools and hospitals as opposed to the multiplicity of designs and materials of new structures. These conflicts become more difficult to quanti- fy as the population continues to grow and society becomes more complex. There are two seismological aspects of these con- flicting ingredients of risk evaluation. The first is the earthquake occurrence proba- bility itself, lind the second is the pre- paredness of California to respond effec- tively to an earthquake when it occurs.

EARTHQUAKE OCCURRENCE PROBABILITY

We must now say that time is running out so far as the next big earthquake of magnitude 7 or greater is concerned. The late Professor Perry Byerly, my predeces- sor at Berkeley, said that when he first had the job of keeping track of earth- quakes in northern California he never closed the door of his garage. He felt that perhaps any night the next great earth- quake in the Bay area would come and he would have to hop into his car. and go down to the University and lead the stud- ies of its aftermath. But when the earth- quake had not come after 30 years he closed the door of his garage. In the 16 years since I have been at the University of California, there has been no great earthquake in California and for various reasons, each year, it has seemed appro- priate to think of an occurrence in the next 10. or 20 years. We can no longer keep pushing this time window forward for a number of reasons. The evidence now is much stron- ger than 30 years ago or even\16 years ago that a large earthquake is imminent.

EARTHQUAKE EVIDENCE

Historical Record

The first line of evidence comes from the historical record. In the last century there were a number of very large earth-

By

BRUCE A. BOLT. Commissioner California Seismic Safety Commission

quakes in California. There was a large earthquake in 1836, centered on the Hay- ward faull. From what we know these days, it would probably bec1assed as"great". An earthquake in 1838 was felt strongly in San Francisco. It opened a great crack many miles in length along what is now called the San Andreas fault. In 1868 there was again an outstanding earthquake on the Hayward fault along the base of the hills to the east of San Francisco Bay. This earthquake produced destruction in San Jose, Hayward. and downtown San Francisco. Until 1906 it was referred to locally as "the great earth- quake". A group of laymen got together and wrote a report on that earthquake, but the report seems to have been su- pressed because no copy has been found in this century. However. in 1906 some per- sons who had gone through the 1868 earthquake were asked to give their recol- lections - these will be referred to later. And then there was the great earth- quake of 1906, with no major rupture of active faults in northern California since that time. In southern California the great Fort Tejon earthquake occurred in 1857, and apart from the Kern County shock of 1952. again there has not been an earth- . quake of major size near metropolitan areas for more than 100 years.

Tectonic Movement

Secondly, the geodetic survey that has gone on in the San Francisco Bay area for about a century and a half indicates that the Farallon Islands, Mt. Tamalpais. and MI. Diablo continue to move relative to one another at a rate comparable to thaI observed prior to the 1906 earthquake. The Farallon Islands are moving north relative to MI. Diablo at the rate of about 2 inches a year and there can be no doubt that strain is building up in the crustal rocks like the tightening of a watch spring. The level of strain that was reached prior to fault rupture in 1906 is known from geodetic measurements of the last century, and a comparison sug- gests that a sudden slip will have to occur along one of the main faults in the area to relieve the present strain before too long.

California Geology

september 1979

Paleoearthquakes

Thirdly, trenches recently excavated across the San Andreas fault in southern California have revealed evidence of past great earthquakes. The liquifaction effects of paleoearthquakes have been preserved in beds of sand and peat. They indicate that the average recurrence interval of great earthquakes on the San Andreas fault in southern California is aboul 200 years - sometimes more, sometimes less. This recurrence interval extends back at least one thousand years. Therefore. given the time that has elapsed since the last great earthquake, we should. as a working hypothesis, expect a great earthquake somewhere in California within the next 10 years. The odds are about even that this will be the case. and for every year that goes by now these odds will grow steadily. If more specific earthquake predictions could be made they would help in pre- venting loss of life from collapse of struc- tures. but seismology has not yet advanced to the stage of practical precise earthquake forecasting. Even if valid earthquake prediction were possible, the hazard to vulnerable buildings in Califor- nia, and the resulting economic loss, would remain.

EARTHQUAKE PREPAREDNESS

The need to reduce earthquake hazards must be balanced against other social de- mands. The effort to mitigate against earthquakes must be expressed in terms of jeopardy to life and cost benefit so that people can make reasonable decisions on what is an adequate level of earthquake safety for society. Consider the two words "earthquake risk". An equation between the occur- rence of great earthquakes, and the risk they produce must be considered. A steady state situation in California should be the goal. The steady state situation would be one in which the citizens, through the tax base, allocate a certain amount of resources toward maintaining the status quo of adequate earthquake preparedness. In other words, the pUblic

'03

must accepl thai after preparalion at a lolerable level is reached, it must be sus-- lained economically for many years. There is still a long way to go in tenos of individual, state and corporate etTort, edu- cation, and expenditure of funds, before Ihis steady stale is reached. Much is now known about earthquakes and about how to reduce earthquake dam- age. This knowledge must be transferred quickly. There has been progress in the study of ground motion itself over the past 10 years. In engineering design there has been advancement in ways to handle these seismic forces. Presumably the changes in building codes have signifi- cantly improved them. There is now more help from the Federal governmenl under Ihe Earthquake Hazard Reduclion ACI which is designed 10 reduce Ihe risk of life and property from future earthquakes. The establishment of the Seismic Safety Commission in California has brought to- gether often very disparale kinds of inter- eslS fbus stimulating more etTeclive mitigation activity and needed legislation.

Recent Damages

Despite advances in earthquake stud- ies, substantial losses have occurred in

relalively small earthquakes over the last few years. The Santa Barbara earthquake

of August 13, 1978, was a relatively small

earthquake (M 5.6) The strong ground motion in this earthquake lasted 2-3 sec- onds and shook only a restricted area, yet

il caused up to 57 million damage to prop-

erty. For comparison, the strong ground motion in the great 1906 earthquake last- ed 40 seconds. The amount of energy released was spread over much of coastal California, and was at least one thousand times greater than in the Santa Barbara shock. In the 1978 Santa Barbara earthquake 65 people were injured by falling objects and glass. Damage in the earthquake in- cluded a number of buildinp built after 1952, Ihus disputing the concept that only old buildings from another era should be considered when assessing earthquake dangers in California. Reports from the University of California at Santa Barbara outlined cases where the building code was not followed and errors seemed to have been made in construction. These facts raise questions about proper inspec- tion during construction of both state and privately owned buildinp in California.

Public Awareness

If a small magnitude 5.6 earthquake is able to produce significant destruction in

a limited area, what is to be done to pre-

pare for a great earthquake? Firsl, de- tailed re-examinalion of earthquake risk

in California is needed. We need a broader

'"

framework than the one used in the past

- a framework thai will consider earth-

quakes in relation to the whole economic system. We mUSI detennine how building codes are being applied. how communities are responding 10 suggestions to prepare for earthquakes, and particularly we must assess the cost benefits thai can accrue by properly carrying oul earthquake mitiga- lion plans. Expendilure of public funds

musl be fully justified and clearly efficienl

in order to achieve a steady state within

the next few years. We musl delve more deeply into emer- gency preparedness Ihan we have in Ihe past. Although the speclre of added ex- pense is often used as an excuse for inac- lion, much can be done within a reasonable cost. So often when dealing wilh specific groups and siluations, progress can be made by people al grass roots level if Ihey only know whal to do. Today there are more people concerned about earthquakes in the communily than Ihere were a few years ago. Quile apart from governmenl plans, community groups are coming together at Ihe local level to eKamine such queslions as:

What can we do in this particular neigh- borhood if a big earthquake occurs (on Ihe Hayward fault, or on the San An· dreas fault)? What can we do before the nexl earth· quake to see whal hazards can be re- duced?

- Will adequate fire fighting facilities be available in Ihe area after the earth- quake? Tbe Seismic Safety Commission, Ihrough its Earthquake Education Com- miltee, and other groups can encourage this grass roots activity IhroughoUI the state. The University of California at Berkeley had an "Earthquake Awareness Day" on April 18, 1979. In Ihe course of planning this program there were many meetings of administrative officers, cleri- cal statT, laboratory managers, officials in- volved in environment, health and safely, and representatives from student groups. The committee met regularly wilhout a lag in interest. Apparently there is a desire for specific infonnation aboul just whal will happen when another great earth-

quake occurs. California is fortunale to have exlensive eye wilness accounts of some of the big earthquakes. These kinds of reports help

a greal deal to educate the public. The

following accounts describe the 1868 earthquake on the Hayward Fault as il was in San Leandro:

Report #1:

··1 managed 10 get out of the build- ing in San leandro when the shaking started. The house was thrown from

California Geology

September 1979

its foundation. Ihe chimney was torn from the roof. the the porch was wrenched away. dishes were bro- ken. and everything was in contu- sion. I found thaI most of Ihe houses were in Ihe same condition as my own-Ihrown from their founda· tions. with chimneys down. porches knocked sideways. elc. All the while the ground was shaking and contin- ued to shake for days. even weeks:·

Report #2:

"I was then about 15 years of age end my home was near Irvington. When the shock came I was alone in the house with my baby brother and my mother called to me to get the baby. I mal\8ged to get the child over my arm. lace down with a pil· low on top. then falling and crawling I worked my way to Ihe kitchen door. My mother was on the ground. and every time she tried 10 get up she was thrown a9ain. As I sat there I could see the ground in waves like the ocean. After the main shock I think we had a hundred shocks duro ing the first 24 hours. not a house was left with a chimney on it. The piano was out of the room and the safe had broken through the wall:· Such direct, unediled infonnation gives people a chance 10 reassess what Ihey thought they were going to do when the great earthquake occurred. Some people

assume Ihey will make emergency calls on

the lelephone, and some people think they

can gel in Iheir car at work and go home

to their families! They are probably nOI

going 10 be able to do such things. There is a gap between whal will be possible and what people think they are going to do. That is one of the uncertainties thai goes inlo the reassessment of what Ihe conse- quences of the earthquake are going to be.

EARTHQUAKE DEFENSE

A very important componenl in trying

to reach the sleady state in a relatively

shon lime is to have more earthquake education. We must get the allention of the whole California populalion and de-

scribe what Ihe earthquake experience is going to be like, so thai each person will

be able to respond in a sensible way. We

have 10 think about whal will happen on every level in anolher greal earthquake.

More assistance must be given 10 local

community groups so that they can take action themselves to assist in fire fighting, first aid, and home safety procedures. As

a consequence, the public may give

stronger support for Ihe expenditure of a small part of the overall California budget 10 reduce the earthquake risk. Let us in the next five years move earthquake risk equation toward Ihe sleady stale of mini- mal risk, for time is no longer on our side. ~

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MAIL ORDER FORM

COUNTY REPORTS

CR'

CR 5

CR 6

CR 7

CR.

Manganese in California $2.00

Pumice. pumicite. and volcanic Cinders in Califor-

nia $2.50

Geology of northern California $9.00 Mineral resources of California $3.00

The mineral economics of

limestone

"00

San Fernando. California. Earthquake 019 February 1971 $13.00 L,mestone, dolomite. and shell resources of the

California

rocks.

Trinity County. California. Mines and mineral ra· sources 01 $3.50 Monterey County. California. Minesand mineral re- sources of $5.00 Shasta County. California. Mines and mineral re- sources of $7.50 Imperial County. California. Mines and mineral re- sources of sa.50 Alpine County. California. Mines and mineral re- sources of $3.50

the carbonate

and

dolomite resources of

Coast Range Province. California $6.00 Urban geology master plan for California $2.50

8asic geology of the Santa Margarita area. San

LUIS Obispo County $7.50 Geologyof the San Diego metropolitan area $12.00

Geology of the Point Reyes peninsula. Marin

County. California $4.00

SPECIAL PUBLICATIONS

5P 33

5P"

SP 39

SP 41

SP42

SP 45

SP49

5P 50

SP 51

SP 52

Minerals and rocks $1,00 Geology of placer deposits $1.00 Earthquakes: Be preparedl $0.35 Basic Placer mining $0.35 Fault hazard zones in California with supplements

$1.00

Meeting the earthquake challenge $2.50 California jade $2.00 Colemanite deposits near Kramer Junction. San Bernardino County. California $1.00 State Policy lor surlace mining and reclamation praClice FREE Earthquake calalog of CalifornIa. January " 190:>- December 3t, 1974 $3.00

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SPECIAL REPORTS

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