The Mojave province in southern California preserves a comparatively complete record of assembly, postorogenic sedimentation, and rifting along the southwestern North American continental margin. The oldest exposed rocks are metasedimentary gneisses and amphibolite, enclosing intrusive suites that range from tonalite and quartz monzodiorite to granite with minor trondhjemite. Discrete magmatic episodes occurred at approximately 1790–1730 and 1690–1640 Ma. Evidence from detrital and premagmatic zircons indicates that recycling of 1900–1790 Ma Paleoproterozoic crust formed the unique isotopic character of the Mojave province. Peak metamorphic conditions in the Mojave province reached middle amphibolite to granulite facies; metamorphism occurred locally from 1795 to 1640 Ma, with widespread evidence for metamorphism at 1711–1689 and 1670–1650 Ma. Structures record early, tight to isoclinal folding and penetrative west-vergent shear during the final metamorphic event in the west Mojave province. Proterozoic basement rocks are overlain by siliciclastic-carbonate sequences of Mesoproterozoic, Neoproterozoic, and Cambrian age, recording environmental change over the course of the transition from stable Mojave crust to the rifted Cordilleran margin. Neoproterozoic quartzites have diverse zircon populations inconsistent with a southwest North American source, which we infer were derived from the western conjugate rift pair within Rodinia, before establishment of the miogeocline. Neoproterozoic-Cambrian miogeoclinal clastic rocks record an end to rifting and establishment of the Cordilleran miogeocline in southern California by latest Neoproterozoic to Early Cambrian time.

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