The Winchester quadrangle is located in the northern part of the Peninsular Ranges Province within the central part of the Perris block, a relatively stable, rectangular in plan view, area located between the Elsinore and San Jacinto fault zones (see location map).
The quadrangle is underlain by Cretaceous and older basement rocks. Cretaceous plutonic rocks are part of the composite Peninsular Ranges batholith, which indicates wide variety of granitic rocks, ranging from granite to gabbro. Parts of three major plutonic complexes are within the quadrangle, the Lakeview Mountains pluton, the Domenigoni Valley pluton and the Paloma Valley ring complex.
In the northern part of the quadrangle is the southern part of the Lakeview Mountains pluton, a large composite body, most of which lies in the quadrangle to the north.
In the center part of the quadrangle is the eastern part of the Domenigoni Valley pluton, which consists of massive biotite-hornblende granodiorite and tonalite; some tonalite in the southern part of the pluton has a relatively pronounced foliation produced by oriented biotite and hornblende. Common to abundant equant-shaped, mafic inclusions occur through out the pluton except in the outermost part where inclusions are absent. The pluton was passively emplaced by piecemeal stoping of a variety of older rocks and the eastern contact is well exposed in the quadrangle.
Associated with the Domenigoni Valley pluton is a swarm of latite dikes; the majority of these dikes occur in the Winchester quadrangle, but they extend into the Romoland quadrangle to the west. The latite dikes intrude both the pluton and adjacent metamorphic rocks, most are foliated, and most have a well developed lineation defined by oriented biotite and/or hornblende crystals. Dikes intruding the pluton were emplaced in northwest striking joints; and dikes intruding the metamorphic rocks were emplaced along foliation planes.
In the eastern part of the quadrangle a Cretaceous age suture juxtaposes low-metamorphic grade Mesozoic rocks against high-metamorphic grade gneissic-textured Mesozoic rocks. Juxtaposition occurred when the high-metamorphic grade rocks were at upper amphibolite grade temperatures, and produced a steep thermal gradient in the low-metamorphic grade Mesozoic rocks. Age of suturing and attendant metamorphism, based on metamorphic mineral ages, is about 100 Ma (L. Snee, personal communication, 2002). The suture zone appears to vary in thickness, and includes within it a number of metadunite bodies and related rocks.
Prebatholithic rocks of Mesozoic age include a wide variety of sedimentary rocks of greenschist or lower metamorphic grade, in the western and central part of the quadrangle, and upper amphibolite grade near the eastern edge of the quadrangle. The metamorphic grade increases from greenschist to upper amphibolite grade over a distance of less than two miles; andalusite and sillimanite isograds are closely spaced near the suture. Metamorphism was Buchan type of relatively high temperature and relatively low pressure (Schwarcz, 1969).
Common lithologies of the low metamorphic grade suite include phyllite, lithic greywacke, impure quartzite, meta-arkose, and interlayered quartzite and phyllite. Most of the layering and foliation in the metamorphic rocks is the result of intense structural transposition. Relic bedding appears to be restricted to very local occurrences in hinges of slip folds. The upper amphibolite grade, gneissic-textured Mesozoic rocks consist of sillimanite-biotite gneiss, black amphibolite, and impure quartzite. Anatectic gneiss containing igneous textured segregations of quartz and feldspar is commonly inter leaved with biotite gneiss.