The Franciscan Complex is a classic subduction-zone assemblage. In northwest California, it comprises a stack of west vergent thrust sheets: westernmost Eastern Belt outliers; Central Belt m??lange; Coastal Belt Yager terrane; Coastal Belt Coastal terrane; Coastal Belt King Range/False Cape terranes. We collected samples and determined P-T conditions of recrystallization for 88 medium-fine-grained metasandstones to assess their subduction-exhumation histories and assembly of the host allochthons. Feebly recrystallized Yager, Coastal, and King Range strata retain clear detrital features. Scattered neoblastic prehnite occurs in several Coastal terrane metasandstones; traces of possible pumpellyite are present in three Yager metaclastic rocks. Pumpellyite ?? lawsonite ?? aragonite-bearing Central Belt metasandstones are moderately deformed and reconstituted. Intensely contorted, thoroughly recrystallized Eastern Belt affinity quartzose metagraywackes contain lawsonite + jadeitic pyroxene ?? aragonite ?? glaucophane. We microprobed neoblastic phases in 23 rocks, documenting mineral parageneses that constrain the tectonic accretion and metamorphic P-T evolution of these sheets. Quasi-stable mineral assemblages typify Eastern Belt metasandstones, but mm-sized domains in the Central and Coastal belt rocks failed to achieve chemical equilibrium. Eastern Belt slabs rose from subduction depths approaching 25-30 km, whereas structurally lower Central Belt m??langes returned from ???15-18 km. Coastal Belt assemblages suggest burial depths less than 5-8 km. Eastern and Central belt allochthons sequentially decoupled from the downgoing oceanic lithosphere and ascended into the accretionary margin; K-feldspar-rich Coastal Belt rocks were stranded along the continental edge without undergoing appreciable subduction, probably during Paleogene unroofing of the older, deeply subducted units of the Franciscan Complex in east-vergent crustal wedges. Copyright 2012 by the American Geophysical Union.
Additional Publication Details
Mineral parageneses, regional architecture, and tectonic evolution of Franciscan metagraywackes, Cape Mendocino-Garberville-Covelo 30??? ?? 60??? quadrangles, northwest California