The "Big Bend" of the San Andreas fault in the western Transverse Ranges of southern California is a left stepping flexure in the dextral fault system and has long been recognized as a zone of relatively high transpression compared to adjacent regions. The Lockwood Valley region, just south of the Big Bend, underwent a profound change in early Pliocene time (???5 Ma) from basin deposition to contraction, accompanied by widespread folding and thrusting. This change followed the recently determined initiation of opening of the northern Gulf of California and movement along the southern San Andreas fault at about 6.1 Ma, with the concomitant formation of the Big Bend. Lockwood Valley occupies a 6-km-wide, fault-bounded structural basin in which converging blocks of Paleoproterozoic and Cretaceous crystalline basement and upper Oligocene and lower Miocene sedimentary rocks (Plush Ranch Formation) were thrust over Miocene and Pliocene basin-fill sedimentary rocks (in ascending order, Caliente Formation, Lockwood Clay, and Quatal Formation). All the pre-Quatal sedimentary rocks and most of the Pliocene Quatal Formation were deposited during a mid-Tertiary period of regional transtension in a crustal block that underwent little clockwise vertical-axis rotation as compared to crustal blocks to the south. Ensuing Pliocene and Quaternary transpression in the Big Bend region began during deposition of the poorly dated Quatal Formation and was marked by four converging thrust systems, which decreased the areal extent of the sedimentary basin and formed the present Lockwood Valley structural basin. None of the thrusts appears presently active. Estimated shortening across the center of the basin was about 30 percent. The fortnerly defined eastern Big Pine fault, now interpreted to be two separate, oppositely directed, contractional reverse or thrust faults, marks the northwestern structural boundary of Lockwood Valley. The complex geometry of the Lockwood Valley basin is similar to other Tertiary structural basins in southern California, such those that underlie Cuyama Valley, the Ridge basin, and the east Ventura basin.
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Pliocene transpressional modification of depositional basins by convergent thrusting adjacent to the "Big Bend" of the San Andreas fault: An example from Lockwood Valley, southern California