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Abstract

The Whipple Mountains in southeastern California are a beautiful and impressively exposed example of a Cordilleran metamorphic core complex (MCC). This complex is part of a semi-continuous MCC terrain that has been unroofed in California, along the Colorado River (fig. 1). Other mountain ranges to the southeast in Arizona contain similar complexes. In the Whipple Mountains, the uplifted and arched core contains lower-plate mylonitic rocks of Tertiary, Cretaceous, and Precambrian age. These predominantly plutonic rock types are cut by a gently dipping detachment fault, which in its upper plate contains Oligocene to Miocene volcanic rocks and intercalated, coarsely detrital, continental sedimentary rocks (fig. 2). The Whipple Mountain complex is a remarkable geologic feature and one that has been well studied (Davis and others, 1979; Davis and others, 1980; Davis and others, 1982; Carr, 1981; Dickey and others, 1980; and numerous theses, (Univ. of S. Calif.). We have only enough time to view the complex from afar and inspect one specific area at the southeastern comer that holds special interest because of the copper-gold-silver mineralization.

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