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Late Cretaceous paleomagnetism and clockwise rotation of the Silver Bell Mountains, south central Arizona

Journal of Geophysical Research

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Abstract

Late Cretaceous ash flow volcanism in the Silver Bell Mountains of southern Arizona (32.3??N, 248.5??E) was associated with caldera formation and porphyry copper mineralization. Oriented samples from 34 sites in volcanic, volcaniclastic, and intrusive units related to this episode of igneous activity (73-69 Ma) yield a mean paleomagnetic direction of (I = 61.2??, D = 24.0??, ??95 = 7.6??. Previously determined paleomagnetic data for southeastern Arizona suggest that this apparent clockwise rotation in the Silver Bell Mountains is a local phenomenon. Although preliminary, the average paleomagnetic direction for Oligocene and lower Miocene rocks in the Silver Bell area (I = 43.8??, D = 357.3??, ??95 = 16.5??) is similar to that calculated for stable North America (I = 50.2??, D = 352.2??, ??95 = 3.9??), implying that the observed rotation in the Silver Bell Mountains occurred before 26 Ma and was most likely associated with dextral strike-slip movement along the Ragged Top and related WNW trending faults bounding the Silver Bell Mountain block. These data, in conjunction with plate reconstructions and other paleomagnetic data from southwestern North America, imply that WNW trending strike-slip faults may have played an important role during Late Cretaceous to early Tertiary deformation in southern Arizona. -Authors

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Late Cretaceous paleomagnetism and clockwise rotation of the Silver Bell Mountains, south central Arizona
Series title:
Journal of Geophysical Research
Volume
94
Issue:
B12
Year Published:
1989
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article