We present structural data and cross sections from four transects that together cover much of the Eastern Belt of the Franciscan accretionary complex. The westernmost, Middle Eel transect includes jadeite-lawsonite facies rocks (the Taliaferro Metamorphic Complex, TMC) intercalated with lawsonite-albite facies metagreywacke. The TMC shows subduction-related imbricate thrusting, refolded by upright folds with amplitudes of 100–1500 m, and it is cut by abundant normal faults that contributed to exhumation. East of the Coast Ranges divide, three linked transects along Thomes Creek cover the transition from lawsonite-albite facies metagreywackes to the blueschist facies South Fork Mountain Schist. The western section shows thick-bedded metagreywacke intercalated with broken formation, deformed by NW-vergent folds and associated thrusts and pressure-solution cleavage, and intensively dissected by abundant low-angle normal faults. In the central section, thin-bedded metagreywacke, broken formation, and conglomerate show an early foliation and folds overprinted by E-vergent folds and crenulation cleavage. The South Fork Mountain Schist forms the easternmost section and records the most intense deformation. The dominant foliation is a differentiated crenulation cleavage that has been refolded by NW vergent folds with amplitudes of millimeters to hundreds of meters. Structural relationships in the South Fork Mountain Schist exposed in Cottonwood Creek farther north are similar to those in Thomes Creek, indicating that our observations have regional significance. All the contractional structures and ductile deformational fabrics in these transects formed under high-P low-T metamorphic conditions during subduction and accretion, and the dominant deformation mechanism was pressure solution. Exhumation was achieved primarily by intensive normal faulting on the outcrop scale, and normal sense motion on the Coast Range fault. This paper provides the first documentation of syn-subduction normal faulting within the Franciscan Complex.
Subduction, accretion, and exhumation of coherent Franciscan blueschist-facies rocks, northern Coast Ranges, California
William L. Schmidt
- PDF LinkPDF
William L. Schmidt, John P. Platt; Subduction, accretion, and exhumation of coherent Franciscan blueschist-facies rocks, northern Coast Ranges, California. Lithosphere doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/L697.1
Download citation file: