Abstract

From southern Nevada to the eastern Mojave Desert, the Lower Jurassic basal unconformity (J-0) cuts down section from the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation to deformed Paleozoic carbonate rocks. The Chinle Formation is not present southwest of the central Spring Mountains. Stratigraphic relations suggest correlation of J-0 with unconformities in western Arizona and the Inyo Mountains. Close proximity of J-0 in time and space to (1) first appearance of western-derived volcanic clasts in lower Mesozoic cratonal stratigraphy, (2) early Mesozoic thrust faults, and (3) the J-1 cusp in the apparent polar wander path imply a major change in tectonic setting of the southwestern Cordillera at the Triassic/Jurassic boundary.

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