Abstract

Recent geologic mapping in the northern San Francisco Bay region (California, USA) supported by radiometric dating and tephrochronologic correlations, provides insights into the framework geology, stratigraphy, tectonic evolution, and geologic history of this part of the San Andreas transform plate boundary. There are 25 new and existing radiometric dates that define three temporally distinct volcanic packages along the north margin of San Pablo Bay, i.e., the Burdell Mountain Volcanics (11.1 Ma), the Tolay Volcanics (ca. 10–8 Ma), and the Sonoma Volcanics (ca. 8–2.5 Ma). The Burdell Mountain and the Tolay Volcanics are allochthonous, having been displaced from the Quien Sabe Volcanics and the Berkeley Hills Volcanics, respectively. Two samples from a core of the Tolay Volcanics taken from the Murphy #1 well in the Petaluma oilfield yielded ages of 8.99 ± 0.06 and 9.13 ± 0.06 Ma, demonstrating that volcanic rocks exposed along Tolay Creek near Sears Point previously thought to be a separate unit, the Donnell Ranch volcanics, are part of the Tolay Volcanics. Other new dates reported herein show that volcanic rocks in the Meacham Hill area and extending southwest to the Burdell Mountain fault are also part of the Tolay Volcanics. In the Sonoma volcanic field, strongly bimodal volcanic sequences are intercalated with sediments. In the Mayacmas Mountains a belt of eruptive centers youngs to the north. The youngest of these volcanic centers at Sugarloaf Ridge, which lithologically, chemically, and temporally matches the Napa Valley eruptive center, was apparently displaced 30 km to the northwest by movement along the Carneros and West Napa faults. The older parts of the Sonoma Volcanics have been displaced at least 28 km along the Rodgers Creek fault since ca. 7 Ma. The Petaluma Formation also youngs to the north along the Rodgers Creek–Hayward fault and the Bennett Valley fault. The Petaluma basin formed as part of the Contra Costa basin in the Late Miocene and was displaced to its present location along the Rodgers Creek–Hayward and older faults. The Tolay fault, previously thought to be a major dextral fault, is part of a fold-and-thrust belt that does not exhibit lateral displacement.

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