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Rocks of the blueschist (glaucophane schist) facies occur throughout the world in narrow tectonic belts associated with ultramafic rocks. In the Coast Range province of California, blueschist rocks are devloped in the eugeosynclinal Franciscan Formation of Late Mesozoic age. The blueschist rocks form a narrow belt for more than 800 km along the eastern margin of this province and commonly are separated from rocks of an overlying thrust plate by serpentinite. Increasing metamorphism upward toward the thrust fault is indicated mineralogically by a transition from pumpellyite to lawsonite and texturally by a transition from metagraywacke to schist. The blueschist metamorphism probably occurred during thrusting in a zone of anomalously high water pressure in the lower plate along the sole of the thrust fault. This tectonic mode of origin for blueschist differs from the generally accepted hypothesis involving extreme depth of burial. Other belts of blueschist-facies rocks, including the Sanbagawa belt of Japan, the marginal synclinal belt of New Zealand, and the blueschist-ultramafic belts of Venezuela, Kamchatka, Ural mountains, and New Caledonia have similar geologic relations and might be explained in the same manner. ?? 1969.
Additional Publication Details
Blueschist-facies metamorphism related to regional thrust faulting