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Tectonic Framework and Metallogeny in California1

John P. Albers
John P. Albers
U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California 94025.
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January 01, 1981


Most geologists concerned with the tectonic framework of California believe that various assemblages of oceanic lithosphere, including island arcs, have been accreted to older sialic crust, mainly during Mesozoic time, resulting in a westward or oceanward growth of the state. During approximately the same time interval, great batholithic masses were also emplaced. The discrete geotectonic units that resulted from these events are characterized by specific types of metallic mineral deposits. Thus, geotectonic units and mineral deposit types are fairly well correlated in California, which should be of help to those planning exploration programs as well as to those concerned with estimating the mineral potential of large areas.

From the age, spatial, and genetic relation of various mineral deposit types to major geotectonic units it is concluded that (1) no simple mineral zoning exists with respect to the Sierra Nevada batholith, and (2) some types of deposits—massive sulfides, manganese, chromite, and mercury—are probably genetically related to the discrete geotectonic units in which they occur and are unrelated either to zoning around plutonic masses or to partial melting of a single subducting slab.

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AAPG Studies in Geology

Energy Resources of the Pacific Region

Michel T. Halbouty
Michel T. Halbouty
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
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Publication date:
January 01, 1981




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