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Tectonic setting of the Glance Conglomerate along the Sawmill Canyon fault zone, southern Arizona: A sequence analysis of an intra-arc strike-slip basin

By
Kari N. Bassett
Kari N. Bassett
Department of Geological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Prvt. Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand Bassett, corresponding author—kari.bassett@canterbury.ac.nz; busby@geol.ucsb.edu.
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Cathy J. Busby
Cathy J. Busby
Department of Geological Sciences, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106, USA Bassett, corresponding author—kari.bassett@canterbury.ac.nz; busby@geol.ucsb.edu.
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Published:
January 01, 2005

In the western Bisbee Basin of southern Arizona, detailed mapping and sequence analysis of the Glance Conglomerate along the largest basin-bounding fault, the Sawmill Canyon fault zone, reveals interbedded clastic, volcanic, and volcaniclastic lithofacies and their relationship to intrabasinal faulting, unconformities, and basin-bounding faults. The basin fill is dominated by small polygenetic, multivent volcanic complexes ranging in composition from rhyolite to andesite typical of continental arc volcanism. Syndepositional basin-bounding faults, the Sawmill Canyon and Gringo Gulch fault zones, controlled subsidence within the basin and plumbed small batches of magma to the surface. Small intrabasinal faults show stratigraphically limited offsets that alternate between normal and reverse separation. Eight unconformable surfaces occur within the basin. Five are asymmetrical, with one very steep wall and one gradually sloping wall. They show extreme vertical relief (460–910 m) with very high paleoslope gradients (40°–71°) that dip away from the master fault. We interpret these as uplifted fault scarps or paleoslide scars. The other three unconformities are symmetrical, V-shaped surfaces that have less steep walls, with vertical relief of 200–600 m and paleoslope gradients of 20°–25°. We interpret the symmetrical surfaces to be walls of deep paleocanyons cut during basin uplift events or following large ignimbrite eruptions.

Analysis of the unconformably bound stratigraphic sequences shows deposition to be related to subsidence along large basin-bounding faults modified by intrabasinal, high-angle, syndepositional normal and reverse faults. Erosion of the sequence-bounding unconformities took place during uplift associated with basin inversion. Alternation of uplift and subsidence and the juxtaposition of intrabasinal reverse and normal faults is typical of strike-slip basins. We interpret the Glance Conglomerate in the Santa Rita Mountains as the fill of an intra-arc strike-slip basin where strike-slip deformation was concentrated along the thermally weakened arc axis. We suggest a model for the Bisbee Basin of a strain-partitioned, obliquely convergent continental arc with backarc extension-transtension.

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GSA Special Papers

The Mojave-Sonora Megashear Hypothesis: Development, Assessment, and Alternatives

Thomas H. Anderson
Thomas H. Anderson
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Jonathan A. Nourse
Jonathan A. Nourse
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James W. McKee
James W. McKee
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Maureen B. Steiner
Maureen B. Steiner
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Geological Society of America
Volume
393
ISBN print:
9780813723938
Publication date:
January 01, 2005

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