ABSTRACT

Naturally occurring asbestos (NOA) is being discovered in a widening array of geologic environments. The complex geology of the state of California is an excellent example of the variety of geologic environments and rock types that contain NOA. Notably, the majority of California rocks were emplaced during a continental collision of eastward-subducting oceanic and island arc terranes (Pacific and Farallon plates) with the westward continental margin of the North American plate between 65 and 150 MY BP. This collision and accompanying accretion of oceanic and island arc material from the Pacific plate onto the North American plate, as well as the thermal events caused by emplacement of the large volcanic belt that became today's Sierra Nevada mountain range, are the principal processes that produced the rocks where the majority of NOA-bearing units have been identified.

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