Abstract

Effects of mid-Mesozoic contraction followed closely in time by extension are present in mid- to upper-crustal plutonic rocks in the Chuckwalla Mountains of the eastern Transverse Ranges, California. Late Jurassic movement along a steeply dipping, right-lateral mylonitic shear zone is bracketed between 159 and 147 Ma via U-Pb dated plutons. Depth of emplacement vs. time data based on hornblende geobarometry and U-Pb geochronology of Mesozoic plutons indicate that a period of dramatic uplift affected the Chuckwalla Mountains during the Late Jurassic, contrasting sharply with data from the (then) nearby San Gabriel Mountains. Subsequent latest Jurassic extensional tectonics is suggested by alkalic plutonism, nearly synchronous intrusion of the Late Jurassic Independence dike swarm, and possibly by deposition of the McCoy Mountains Formation. We conclude that both contraction and extension were significant at upper- and mid-crustal depths in the Chuckwalla Mountains region during the Late Jurassic, and speculate that the combined influence of oblique convergence and the opening of the Gulf of Mexico may have caused the contrasting and nearly contemporaneous tectonic modes.

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