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Sedimentary Serpentinite of the Miocene Big Blue Formation Near Cantua Creek

By
Tom Ann L. Casey
Tom Ann L. Casey
8000 Professional Center, A-4 P.O. Box 1928 Durango, Colorado 81301
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William R. Dickinson
William R. Dickinson
Department of Geoscience University of Arizona Tucson
,
Arizona 85721
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Published:
January 01, 1984

Abstract

Between Anticline Ridge on the south and the Ciervo Hills on the north, serpentinous strata of the Big Blue Formation lie strati graphically between Middle Miocene Temblor Formation and Upper Miocene Santa Margarita Formation in homoclinal exposures of Tertiary strata that flank the western margin of the Great Valley. Mapping of three distinctive lithologic units within the Big Blue Formation near Cantua Creek defines key aspects of its unusual origin (see Fig. 30). Foliate but unstratified serpentinite breccia, thickest on the outcrop between Salt and Martinez Creeks, forms the body of a protrusive serpentinite extrusion that flowed as a sheared mass across an unconsolidated substratum of Temblor sand, which was partly scraped away beneath the mass-flow and was locally plowed into chaotically rumpled folds that piled up at the advancing margin of the protrusive mass. Bedded serpentinite-clast conglomerates and breccias, with intercalated serpentine-grain sandstones and associated serpentinous debris-flow deposits, were formed by fluvial reworking of the protrusive serpentinite. Detrital serpentinite locally underlies but more commonly overlies and most typically flanks the latter as a facies equivalent. Interbedded serpentine-grain sandstones and serpentinous claystones of probable marine origin exposed laterally along strike apparently formed as an extensive facies fringe of serpentinite detritus dispersed widely from a central core of protrusive and coarser detrital serpentinite. Santa Margarita beds rest conformably on the finer detrital serpentinite but uncon-formably on protrusive serpentinite and associated deposits. Easterly paleocurrents from clast imbrications in detrital serpentinite suggest that the serpentinite source lay west of the present outcrop belt. Dispersal of serpentinite debris perhaps was fed by protrusive diapiric movement of Mesozoic serpentinite mobilized in the core of an ancestral Joaquin Ridge anticline, whose initial growth thus may have coincided with the Miocene onset of rapid motion along the late Cenzoic San Andreas fault system.

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SEPM Field Trip Guide

1984 Midyear Meeting San Jose, California

Ralph E. Hunter
Ralph E. Hunter
U. S. Geological Survey
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H. Edward Clifton
H. Edward Clifton
U. S. Geological Survey
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N. Timothy Hall
N. Timothy Hall
Foothill College
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John L. Chin
John L. Chin
U. S. Geological Survey
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
3
ISBN electronic:
9781565762787
Publication date:
January 01, 1984

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