The determination of the total age coverage of pelagic bedded chert is particularly important in studies of ancient accretionary complexes because the time span represents the minimum travel time of an oceanic plate before accretion at an island arc or continental margin. The Yolla Bolly terrane of the Franciscan Complex consists of rare metabasalt overlain by bedded radiolarian chert which in turn is overlain by metagraywacke and subordinate slaty mudstone and conglomerate. The bedded chert ranges in age from Aaleian (early Middle Jurassic) to Tithonian (latest Jurassic). A lithologic gradation from pelagic bedded chert through hemipelagic siliceous mudstone occurred during the Tithonian and thus marks the arrival of the oceanic sediments at the continental margin. The Tithonian age also agrees with previously reported Tithonian to Valanginian (Early Cretaceous) fossils in the overlying terrigenous metagraywacke. Both chert and metagraywacke are intruded by gabbroic sills, suggesting off-ridge volcanism, probably in a near-trench environment. Following the intrusive activity, all of the rocks were subducted to depths of 20-30 km, imbricated, and recrystallized to the lower blueschist facies (lawsonite-aragonite ± jadeitic pyroxene). Metamorphic ages, using a variety of isotopic methods, range from 90-105 Ma and thus indicate a long interval (ca. 30-40 Ma) between accretion and subduction. Two possible models include: (1) a long period of storage in an accretionary prism prior to subduction, or (2) accretion and subsequent northward transport.
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Biostratigraphic constraints on formation and timing of accretion in a subduction complex: An example from the Franciscan Complex of Northern California|
|Series title||Journal of Geology|
|Publisher||University of Chicago Press|
|Contributing office(s)||Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center|
|Other Geospatial||Coast Ranges|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|