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Book Chapter

Geology of a zone of metamorphic core complexes in southeastern Arizona

By
Norman G. Banks
Norman G. Banks
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Published:
January 01, 1980

An elongate northwest-trending zone of batholith-size metamorphic core complexes extends some 130 km from the Rincon Mountains to the Picacho Mountains in southeastern Arizona. The complexes are characterized by undeformed to gneissic granitic intrusions, gneissic to phyllonitic xenoliths and wall rocks derived mainly from Precambrian granitic rock, shallow-dipping foliation, and remarkably uniform directions of lineation. Parts of this zone have been recognized and studied extensively for more than 30 yr, but there remains a divergence of opinion about the age, depth of emplacement, and origin of the complexes. Field relations indicate that host rocks as young as or younger than Mesozoic were involved in cataclasis. K-Ar and fission-track ages indicate that the complexes were at temperatures uniformly in excess of400 °C in the middle Tertiary (20 to 30 m.y. ago) and that the bedrock between and very near the complexes was not thermally affected. Tertiary plutons characteristically associated with the high-grade metamorphic rocks are also cataclastically deformed, and stratigraphic depths to the top of metamorphic terranes were no more than 6 km and possibly less than 3 km. These and other data suggest to some that the complexes developed during intrusion of composite batholiths at shallow depth in an anisotropic stress field during the middle Tertiary. On the other hand, Rb-Sr and U-Th-Pb techniques yielded older ages (≥44 m.y.) for some samples. These and additional data suggest to others that major development of cataclasis preceded the middle Tertiary and included regional thrusting.

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Contents

GSA Memoirs

Cordilleran Metamorphic Core Complexes

Max D. Crittenden, Jr.
Max D. Crittenden, Jr.
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Peter J. Coney
Peter J. Coney
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George H. Davis
George H. Davis
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Geological Society of America
Volume
153
ISBN print:
9780813711539
Publication date:
January 01, 1980

GeoRef

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