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Oligocene tectonics and sedimentation, California

Sedimentary Geology

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Abstract

During the Oligocene epoch, California was marked by extensive nonmarine sedimentation, in contrast to its pre-Oligocene and post-Oligocene depositional history. The Oligocene continental deposits are especially widespread in southern California and fill a number of small and generally partly restricted basins. Fluvial facies in many basins prograded over previously deposited lower Tertiary turbidites. Volcanism, from widespread centers, was associated with the nonmarine sedimentation. However, some basins remained marine and a few contain Oligocene turbidites and pelagic sediments deposited at bathyal depths. The Oligocene redbeds of California do not form a post-orogenic molasse sequence comparable to the Old Red Sandstone or Alpine molasse. They are synorogenic and record local uplift of basins and surrounding source areas. Late Cretaceous to contemporary orogenesis in California has been generally characterized by the formation of small restricted basins of variable depth adjacent to small upland areas in response to strike-slip faulting. Deposition of Oligocene redbeds was associated with climatic change from warm and humid to cold and semiarid, and a global lowering of sea level. Oligocene tectonism occurred during the transition from subduction of the Farallon Plate to initiation of the modern San Andreas transform system. However, the major influence that caused uplift, formation of fault-bounded basins, and extensive redbed deposition, especially in southern California, was the approach of the Pacific-Farallon spreading ridge to the western margin of California. ?? 1984.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Oligocene tectonics and sedimentation, California
Series title:
Sedimentary Geology
Volume
38
Issue:
1-4
Year Published:
1984
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Sedimentary Geology
First page:
305
Last page:
336