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Title: Middle Jurassic to Early Cretaceous tectonic evolution of the western Klamath Mountains and outboard Franciscan assemblages, northern California–southern Oregon, USA
The Klamath Mountains province and adjacent Franciscan subduction complex (northern California–southern Oregon) together contain a world-class archive of subduction-related growth and stabilization of continental lithosphere. These key elements of the North American Cordillera expanded significantly from Middle Jurassic to Early Cretaceous time, apparently by a combination of tectonic accretion and continental arc– plus rift-related magmatic additions. The purpose of this field trip is twofold: to showcase the rock record of continental growth in this region and to discuss unresolved regional geologic problems. The latter include: (1) the extent to which Mesozoic orogenesis (e.g., Siskiyou and Nevadan events plus the onset of Franciscan accretion) was driven by collision of continental or oceanic fragments versus changes in plate motion, (2) whether growth involved “accordion tectonics” whereby marginal basins (and associated fringing arcs) repeatedly opened and closed or was driven by the accretion of significant volumes of material exotic to North America, and (3) the origin of the Condrey Mountain schist, a composite low-grade unit occupying an enigmatic structural window in the central Klamaths—at odds with the east-dipping thrust sheet regional structural “rule.” Respectively, we assert that (1) if collision drove orogenesis, the requisite exotic materials are missing (we cannot rule out the possibility that such materials were removed via subduction and/or strike slip faulting); (2) more » opening and closure of the Josephine ophiolite-floored and Galice Formation–filled basin demonstrably occurred adjacent to North America; and (3) the inner Condrey Mountain schist domain is equivalent to the oldest clastic Franciscan subunit (the South Fork Mountain schist) and therefore represents trench assemblages underplated >100 km inboard of the subduction margin, presumably during a previously unrecognized phase of shallow-angle subduction. In aggregate, these relations suggest that the Klamath Mountains and adjacent Franciscan complex represent telescoped arc and forearc upper plate domains of a dynamic Mesozoic subduction zone, wherein the downgoing oceanic plate took a variety of trajectories into the mantle. We speculate that the downgoing plate contained alternating tracts of smooth and dense versus rough and buoyant lithosphere—the former gliding into the mantle (facilitating slab rollback and upper plate extension) and the latter enhancing basal traction (driving upper plate compression and slab-shallowing). Modern snapshots of similarly complex convergent settings are abundant in the western Pacific Ocean, with subduction of the Australian plate beneath New Guinea and adjacent island groups providing perhaps the best analog. « less
Authors:
; ; ;
Editors:
Booth, A.M.
Award ID(s):
1846811
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10335543
Journal Name:
GSA Field Guide
Volume:
62
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
73–130
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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