Coast Range Ophiolite near Stonyford, Northern California : evidence for normal faulting

Date
2012-05
Authors
Hoag, Scott Henry
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Abstract

The Franciscan Complex and Coast Range Ophiolite (CRO) are juxtaposed along the Coast Range Fault (CRF), which is steeply dipping to near vertical in the Stonyford area. The CRF has been interpreted as a thrust fault and a normal fault but no kinematic data has been presented for the Stonyford region. The CRO locally is internally disrupted and can be described as an ophiolitic mélange. Near Stonyford, serpentinites are in contact with Great Valley sediments to the east and with Franciscan rocks to the west. Mafic volcanics are only found at a few localities with some chert and gabbros. Massive serpentinites form most of the southernmost transect while foliated serpentinite mélange dominates the northern transects. Six structural geologic transects were made in the CRO along National Forest Service roads in the Mendocino National Forest near the Stonyford, California area. Data were collected from 21 road cuts totaling approximately 10 kilometers of CRO exposure. Exposures were typically two meters high with the main exception along Goat Mountain Road where the serpentinite was massive with outcrop heights of 10 to 20 meters. Fault plane orientations and sense of slip (where recognizable) were measured for all faults traceable for more than 10 cm. A total of 1,108 faults were measured, 414 contained lineations, and 326 had lineations with steps which determine sense of slip. Approximately two-thirds of the faults with full kinematics had evidence for normal offset. About 25% recorded reverse offset, mostly steeply dipping surfaces. Strike-slip faulting, both right and left-lateral, accounted for 10% of the data. The ascent of the Franciscan and CRO, and upturning of the Knoxville Formation (Great Valley Group) to near vertical attitude was mostly a result of normal faulting. The Great Valley Group strata, with little internal offset by faulting, indicates the disruption of the CRO near Stonyford predates most of the normal faulting. This is consistent with pre-subduction deformation of the CRO in an oceanic fracture zone.

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