Previously unrecognized veins containing lead, zinc, and copper sulfide minerals at Point Delgada, Calif., are associated with late Mesozoic(?) and Tertiary volcanic and sedimentary rocks of the Franciscan assemblage. Sulfide minerals include pyrite, sphalerite, galena, and minor chalcopyrite, and galena-rich samples contain substantial amounts of silver. These minerals occur in a quartz-carbonate gangue along northeast-trending faults and fractures that exhibit (left?) lateral and vertical slip. The sense of fault movement and the northeasterly strike are consistent with predicted conjugate fault sets of the present San Andreas fault system. The sulfide mineralization is younger than the Franciscan rocks of Point Delgada and King Range, and it may have accompanied or postdated the inception of San Andreas faulting. Mineralization largely preceded uplift, the formation of a marine terrace, and the emplacement of landslide-related debris-flow breccias that overlie the mineralized rocks and truncate the sulfide veins. These field relations indicate that the sulfide mineralization and inception of San Andreas faulting were clearly more recent than the early Miocene and that the mineralization could be younger than about 1.2 m.y.
The sulfide veins at Point Delgada may be of economic significance. However, prior to any exploitation of the occurrence, economic and environmental conflicts of interest involving private land ownership, the Shelter Cove home development, and proximity of the coast must be resolved.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Base and precious metal occurrences along the San Andreas Fault, Point Delgada, California