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Franciscan subduction complex rocks of Mount Diablo form a 8.5 by 4.5 km tectonic window, elongated E-W and fault-bounded to the north and south by rocks of the Coast Range ophiolite and Great Valley Group, respectively, which lack the burial metamorphism and deformation displayed by the Franciscan complex. Most of the Franciscan complex consists of a stack of lawsonite-albite–facies pillow basalt overlain successively by chert and clastic sedimentary rocks, repeated by faults at hundreds of meters to <1 m spacing. Widely distributed mélange zones from 0.5 to 300 m thick containing high-grade (including amphibolite and eclogite) assemblages and other exotic blocks, up to 120 m size, form a small fraction of exposures. Nearly all clastic rocks have a foliation, parallel to faults that repeat the various lithologies, whereas chert and basalt lack foliation. Lawsonite grew parallel to foliation and as later grains across foliation. The Franciscan-bounding faults, collectively called the Coast Range fault, strike ENE to WNW and dip northward at low to moderate average angles and collectively form a south-vergent overturned anticline. Splays of the Coast Range fault also cut into the Franciscan strata and Coast Range ophiolite and locally form the Coast Range ophiolite–Great Valley Group boundary. Dip discordance between the Coast Range fault and overlying Great Valley Group strata indicates that the northern and southern Coast Range fault segments were normal faults with opposite dip directions, forming a structural dome. These relationships suggest accretion and fault stacking of the Franciscan complex, followed by exhumation along the Coast Range fault and then folding of the Coast Range fault.

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