Numerous fragments of oceanic crust and island arcs make up the Klamath Mountains province. These fragments were joined together (amalgamated) in an oceanic setting during Paleozoic and Mesozoic collisional events and were accreted to North America as a composite unit during latest Jurassic or earliest Cretaceous time. The roughly arcuate and concentric distribution of the terranes of the Klamath Mountains does not now seem to be a result of simple oroclinal bending as earlier believed. Although commonly described as a west-facing arcuate structure, the province is cut diagonally by a vaguely defined NW-trending zone of discontinuity, or hinge line, that divides the province into NE and SW tectonic domains. The zone of discontinuity is marked by a number of lithic and structural anomalies, and particularly by the distribution of a remarkable series of belts of plutonic rocks. The terranes, regional structures, and plutonic belts of the NE domain trend NE and are generally wider and more coherent than the narrow NW-trending terranes and plutonic belts of the SW domain. Most plutonic belts of the NE domain do not have equivalents in the SW domain. Paleomagnetic evidence suggests that all the plutonic belts, except possibly the youngest (the earliest Cretaceous Shasta Bally belt), were emplaced before the Klamath Mountains terranes finally accreted to North America. ?? 1989.
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Cryptic tectonic domains of the Klamath Mountains, California and Oregon