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The upper Middle Eocene to Lower Miocene Sespe Formation is the youngest part of an ~7-km-thick Cretaceous–Paleogene forearc stratigraphic sequence in coastal southern California. Whereas Upper Cretaceous through Middle Eocene strata of southern California record a transition from local (i.e., continental-margin batholith) to extraregional (i.e., cratonal) provenance resulting from Laramide deformation (75–35 Ma), the Sespe Formation records the reversal of this process and the re-establishment of local sediment sources by Middle Miocene time.

In contrast to underlying dominantly marine strata, the Sespe Formation primarily consists of alluvial/fluvial and deltaic sandstone and conglomerate, which represent terminal filling of the forearc...

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