Abstract

Pennsylvanian and Early Permian paleogeographic features in east-central California include a southeast-trending carbonate shelf edge and turbidite basin that we infer paralleled a segment of the western margin of the North American continent. This segment of the continental margin was oblique to an adjoining segment on the north that trended southwestward across Nevada into easternmost California. We propose that the southeast-trending segment of the margin originated by tectonic truncation of the originally longer southwest-trending segment in Early or Middle Pennsylvanian to late Early Permian time, significantly earlier than a previously hypothesized Late Permian or Early Triassic continental truncation event. We interpret the truncating structure to have been a sinistral transform fault zone along which a continental fragment was removed and carried southeastward into the Caborca-Hermosillo region of northern Mexico, where it is now represented by exposures of Late Proterozoic and Paleozoic miogeoclinal rocks.

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