A mafic complex of hornblende-rich, gneissic to granoblastic, amphibolite- to granulite-grade metamorphic rocks and associated mafic to felsic magmatic rocks is exposed over an area of some 300 km2 in the southernmost Sierra Nevada. The mafic complex probably reflects a deeper exposed crustal level than is represented by the dominantly granitic terrane of the Sierra Nevada batholith to the north, and it may be the upper part of the root zone and metamorphic substrate of the Sierra Nevada batholith. Xenoliths of gneiss, amphibolite, and granulite from subbatholithic levels, transported upward and preserved in volcanic rocks in the central Sierra Nevada, are possible analogues of some of the rocks of the southernmost Sierra Nevada mafic complex.

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