Significance of age relations above and below upper jurassic ophiolite in the Geysers-Clear Lake region, California

Journal of Research of the U.S. Geological Survey
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Abstract

In The Geysers-Clear Lake area of northern California, a fragmented Upper Jurassic ophiolite overlain depositionally by the Great Valley sequence is juxtaposed over deformed and metomorphosed rocks of the Franciscan assemblage along the Coast Range thrust. The basal strata of the Great Valley sequence consist of thick breccias of mafic clasts, identical in composition to the upper part of the ophiolite. These breccias and their contact relations suggest that more than 1 km of the upper part of the ophiolite was locally eroded in early Tithonian time. On the basis of their radiolarian faunas, cherts in the Franciscan assemblage below the ophiolite range in age from Late Jurassic (early Tithonian) to Late Cretaceous (early Cenomanian). Of particular significance is an individual chert body (= The Geysers chert) of this age range. The early Cenomanian radiolarians, except for two occurrences associated with pelagic limestone, are significantly younger than those previously reported from the Franciscan assemblage. The existence of a sequence of Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous radiolarian chert places critical constraints on subduction models for emplacement of the Franciscan assemblage beneath the Coast Range ophiolite and Great Valley sequence in The Geysers-Clear Lake area. From early Tithonian to post-early Cenomanian time, the Franciscan assemblage received pelagic sedimentation far from any site of subduction. By other data, blueschist metamorphism of subducted Franciscan strata also occurred during this time. The radiolarian data from The Geysers area permit a correlation with Upper Cretaceous pelagic limestones in the Laytonville area northwest of The Geysers and also imply that the Great Valley sequence was never depositionally in contact with the Franciscan assemblage. 

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Significance of age relations above and below upper jurassic ophiolite in the Geysers-Clear Lake region, California
Series title Journal of Research of the U.S. Geological Survey
Volume 6
Issue 6
Year Published 1978
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Description 12 p.
First page 715
Last page 726
Country United States
State California
Other Geospatial Geysers-Clear Lake region
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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