Abstract

An uplifted wave-cut marine platform eroded across bedrock of the Franciscan Complex at Point Delgada, northern California, is overlain by 0.5 to 5 m of wave-worked pea gravel, which is in turn directly overlain by fluvial gravel and silt deposited as alluvial fans. Woody plant debris at the base of the fluvial deposits includes cones of Brewer spruce (Picea breweriana), which today are found only at higher elevations and latitudes. Fossil wood debris from this horizon yields a 14C date of 44,800 ± 1,300 yr. The 44,800 yr radiocarbon age for the base of the fluvial deposits establishes an approximate age for the immediately underlying marine gravels and wave-cut platform. We tentatively correlate this terrace with the middle Wisconsin high sea-level stand at −37 m, dated at about 45,000 yr B.P. If this age is correct, the tectonic uplift since middle Wisconsin time has been 44 m, and the average rate of uplift has been at least 1.0 m/1,000 yr. This relatively high rate is probably related to interaction among the Pacific, Gorda, and North American plates at the Mendocino triple junction.

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