Abstract

Wide-angle seismic reflection and refraction data, mapped geologic structures, and marine magnetic anomalies provide evidence that oceanic crust underlies the coastal margin of California from Morro Bay northward beyond San Francisco. We interpret the presence of this oceanic slab to be at least partly the result of thrusting of North America over the Pacific plate during Pliocene to Quaternary time, well after the principal subduction regime ended. Likely causes of this thrusting are the change in plate motions at about 3.5 Ma and extension in the Basin and Range province.

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