Architecture and Lithofacies of the Miocene Capistrano Formation, San Clemente State Beach, California, USA
K. M Campion, A. R. Sprague, M. D. Sullivan, 2008. "Architecture and Lithofacies of the Miocene Capistrano Formation, San Clemente State Beach, California, USA", Atlas of Deep-Water Outcrops, Tor H. Nilsen, Roger D. Shew, Gary S. Steffens, Joseph R. J. Studlick
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Exposures of the Capistrano Formation at San Clemente, California, are part of a sand-dominated complex of channels that were deposited in a deep-water slope setting. This formation, which is at least 18 m (59 ft) thick and 1.2 km (0.7 mi) wide, is comprised of architectural elements that fit into a hierarchical framework. These include, from smallest to largest, stories (sub-channel elements bounded by erosion surfaces), individual channels, and channel complexes. Within the outcrop belt, three channel complexes are interpreted to be present based on channel-stacking arrangement, channel orientation, and lithofacies distribution within channels. These channel complexes are comprised of laterally amalgamated to aggradational channels. Within each complex, the channels exhibit a predictable, lateral change of lithofacies from channel-complex margin to axis. These complexes are on the order of 400-600 m (1300-1970 ft) wide and at least 20 m (66 ft) thick (true thickness is unknown because the base is not exposed, and the top has been eroded).
Complete channels are not preserved within the Capistrano because of erosion between channels. Remnants of individual channels exhibit a systematic change in sand fraction, facies preservation, and bed architecture from the margin to the axis of each channel fill. The most complete channel (channel 7) is about 20 m (66 ft) thick and 460 m (1510 ft) wide. Sub-channel elements within Capistrano channels are referred to as stories. Stories consist of bedsets bounded by erosion surfaces that exhibit 1—2 m (3.3 −6.6 ft) of relief and are confined within channels, which exhibit at least 15 m (49 ft) of erosion.
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Tor H. Nilsen, a red-haired Scandinavian who stood more than six feet tall, died October 9, 2005, at his San Carlos, California, home. This was after a valiant five-year fight with melanoma cancer. He was 63. His ashes were scattered at his family plot in Norway in 2006.
He was born in New York City on November 29, 1941, to Mollie Abrahamson and Nils Marius Nilsen of Mandal, Norway, and was the first of their children to be born in the United States. After graduating from Brooklyn Tech, he earned his B.S. in geology from City College of New York in 1962. While there, his prowess on the basketball court impressed a scout from the New York Knicks, but Tor went on to graduate school and earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in geology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1964 and 1967, respectively. His M.S. thesis was a study of Precambrian metasedimentary deposits in the Lake Superior area, and his Ph.D. thesis was a study of Devonian alluvial-fan deposits of the Old Red Sandstone in western Norway.
Dr. Nilsen’s principal expertise was in depositional systems analysis, stratigraphic analysis, and the relationships among tectonics, eustasy, and sedimentation. He began his industry career in 1967 as a research geologist with the Shell Development Company in Houston, Texas, and Ventura, California, where he worked on the tectonics and sedimentation of Tertiary shelf systems of coastal California. He subsequently spent two years with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as the Military