Matrix induration and deformation style denote relative time and process of melange origin related to subduction. Mappable melange units contain chiefly blocks of greenstone, chert, and graywacke dispersed in weakly indurated argillite. Emplacement of these units as olistostromes is indicated by depositional contacts and lateral inter-tonguing with turbidites.
Some blocks in sheared olistostromes are in themselves complexly mixed. These include breccias of gabbro, plagiogranite, diabase, basalt, tuff, chert, graywacke, and argillite variously combined and brittlely deformed. Blocks of intercalated tuff and argillite and of diamictite containing rounded clasts of tuff, chert, and graywacke dispersed in highly indurated, foliated argillite exhibit primary ductile and secondary brittle deformation. All block material was indurated, brecciated, and/or foliated during underplating at the base of a trench slope and later uplifted to provide olistostrome detritus.
The Elk Head and Klamath coast terranes are highly indurated and compositionally similar to the mixed-lithology blocks in olistostromes. They are interpreted to form an accretionary prism consisting of tectonic melange slabs separating slope-basin rocks.