Boulder, Colo., USA: GSA’s dynamic online journal, Geosphere, posts articles online regularly. Topics include three geologic maps; insights into the geometry and evolution of the southern San Andreas fault; and bolide impact effects on the West Florida Platform, Gulf of Mexico. You can find these articles at https://geosphere.geoscienceworld.org/content/early/recent .
Constraints on the timescales and processes that led to high-SiO2 rhyolite production in the Searchlight pluton, Nevada, USA
Michael P. Eddy; Ayla Pamukçu; Blair Schoene; Travis Steiner-Leach; Elizabeth A. Bell
Abstract: Plutons offer an opportunity to study the extended history of magmas at depth. Fully exploiting this record requires the ability to track changes in magmatic plumbing systems as magma intrudes, crystallizes, and/or mixes through time. This task has been difficult in granitoid plutons because of low sampling density, poorly preserved or cryptic intrusive relationships, and the difficulty of identifying plutonic volumes that record the contemporaneous presence of melt. In particular, the difficulty in delineating fossil magma reservoirs has limited our ability to directly test whether or not high-SiO2 rhyolite is the result of crystal-melt segregation. We present new high-precision U-Pb zircon geochronologic and geochemical data that characterize the Miocene Searchlight pluton in southern Nevada, USA. The data indicate that the pluton was built incrementally over ~1.5 m.y. with some volumes of magma completely crystallizing before subsequent volumes arrived. The largest increment is an ~2.7-km-thick granitic sill that records contemporaneous zircon crystallization, which we interpret to represent a fossil silicic magma reservoir within the greater Searchlight pluton. Whole-rock geochemical data demonstrate that this unit is stratified relative to paleo-vertical, consistent with gravitationally driven separation of high-SiO2 melt from early-formed crystals at moderate crystallinity. Zircon trace-element compositions suggest that our geochronologic data from this unit record most of the relevant crystallization interval for differentiation and that this process occurred in <150 k.y.
View article: https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/gsa/geosphere/article-abstract/doi/10.1130/GES02439.1/612795/Constraints-on-the-timescales-and-processes-that
E/I-corrected inclination shallowing in Cenozoic redbeds from the northern Tarim Basin, NW China: Possible causes and paleogeographic implications
Zhiliang Zhang; Bai Shen; Jimin Sun; Zhikun Ren
Abstract: Because of their widespread occurrence and ability to carry stable remanence, continental redbeds in central Asia are frequently used in paleomagnetic studies. However, the paleomagnetic inclinations recorded by redbeds are much shallower than the expected values, as redbeds are usually subjected to inclination shallowing. To recognize and correct the inclinations recorded by the Cenozoic redbeds, the paleomagnetic data that were used for magnetostratigraphic studies in the Kuqa Depression, northern Tarim Basin, are reanalyzed in this study. The mean inclinations of the four groups of samples (Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene, and Pliocene) are systematically ~20° shallower than the expected values calculated from the apparent polar wander paths (APWPs) of Eurasia, indicating the presence of inclination shallowing. We apply the elongation/inclination (E/I) method to correct the inclination shallowing. The mean inclinations of the Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene, and Pliocene sediments are corrected from 40.5° to 63.1°, 41.0° to 63.8°, 42.0° to 63.8°, and 44.7° to 63.2°, within 95% confidence limits between 55.1° and 71.6°, 53.7° and 70.4°, 51.5° and 72.7°, and 52.2° and 71.3°, respectively, which are indistinguishable from the expected inclination values. Our results suggest that inclination shallowing in the redbeds of central Asia can be reasonably corrected using the E/I method, and sedimentary processes such as compaction and/or imbrication in the very early stage of burial are important causes for inclination shallowing. Paleolatitudes calculated from the E/I -corrected inclinations show that the Tarim Basin should have reached or been at least close to its current latitude since the Cretaceous. The Cenozoic crustal shortening estimate of the northern Tarim Basin is not detectible for paleomagnetic study.
View article: https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/gsa/geosphere/article-abstract/doi/10.1130/GES02480.1/612575/E-I-corrected-inclination-shallowing-in-Cenozoic
Bolide impact effects on the West Florida Platform, Gulf of Mexico : End Cretaceous and late Eocene
C. Wylie Poag
Abstract: This study documents seismic reflection evidence that two different bolide impacts significantly disrupted stratigraphic and depositional processes on the West Florida Platform (Gulf of Mexico). The first impact terminated the Late Cretaceous Epoch (Chicxulub impact, Mexico; ca. 66 Ma; end-Maastrichtian age). The second took place in the late Eocene (Chesapeake Bay impact, Virginia, USA, portion of the Chesapeake Bay; ca. 35 Ma; Priabonian age). Both impacts produced far-reaching seismic shaking and ground roll followed by an impact-generated tsunami, the effects of which are evident in the seismostratigraphic record. The Chicxulub seismic shaking caused collapse and shoreward retreat of the Florida Escarpment and widely disrupted (faulting, folding, slumping) normal flat-lying shelf beds. The associated tsunami currents redistributed these shelf deposits and mixed them together with collapse debris from the escarpment to form a thick wedge of sediments along the base of the escarpment. The Chesapeake Bay impact created a mounded sedimentary deposit near the outer edge of the late Eocene ramp slope. This deposit also has a bipartite origin. A lower layer is marked by en echelon faulting created in situ by seismic shaking, whereas an upper layer represents sediments redistributed from the late Eocene shelf and upper ramp slope by tsunami-driven bottom currents (debris flows, contour currents, slumps). This is the first report of seismic effects from the Chesapeake Bay impact in the Gulf of Mexico. These results further demonstrate that large-scale marine bolide impacts have widespread effects on the stratigraphic and depositional record of Earth.
View article: https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/gsa/geosphere/article-abstract/doi/10.1130/GES02472.1/612576/Bolide-impact-effects-on-the-West-Florida-Platform
Assessing the effect of melt extraction from mushy reservoirs on compositions of granitoids: From a global database to a single batholith
J. Cornet; O. Bachmann; J. Ganne; A. Fiedrich; C. Huber ...
Abstract: Mafic and ultramafic plutonic rocks are often considered to be crystal cumulates (i.e., they are melt-depleted), but such a classification is much more contentious for intermediate to silicic granitoids (e.g., tonalite, granodiorite, granite, and syenite). Whether or not a given plutonic rock has lost melt to feed shallower subvolcanic intrusive bodies or volcanic edifices has key implications for understanding igneous processes occurring within the crust throughout the evolution of the Earth. We use statistical analyses of a global volcanic and plutonic rock database to show that most mafic to felsic plutonic rock compositions can be interpreted as melt-depleted (i.e., most of the minerals analyzed are more evolved than their bulk-rock compositions would allow). To illustrate the application of the method to natural samples (from the Tertiary Adamello Batholith in the southern Alps), we estimate the degree of melt depletion using a combination of magmatic textures, bulk-rock chemistry, modal mineralogy, distributions of plagioclase composition (using scanning electron microscope phase mapping/electron microprobe analyses), and thermodynamic modeling. We find that melt depletion correlates with the magmatic foliation and is accompanied by bulk depletion in incompatible elements, low amounts of near-solidus minerals, and mineral compositions that are too evolved (i.e., depleted in Ca or Mg, depending on the mineral) to be in equilibrium with their bulk-rock chemistry. The analytical and modeling workflow proposed in this study provides a path to quantifying melt depletion in any plutonic samples.
View article: https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/gsa/geosphere/article-abstract/doi/10.1130/GES02333.1/612577/Assessing-the-effect-of-melt-extraction-from-mushy
Geologic map of Slate Range Crossing area, California, USA
Joseph E. Andrew
Abstract: This detailed geologic map and supplemental digital data set examine and demonstrate the complex Neogene–Quaternary deformation in the Slate Range Crossing area (California, USA) of the active dextral transtension of the Death Valley region and Walker Lane belt. This map integrates the late Cenozoic structures and geologic units with the Mesozoic geologic units and deformation as a data set to examine the controls on reactivation of older structures. These geologic data were collected to study pre-, syn-, and post-kinematic rocks to examine the deformation history of the area and to find palinspastic markers to examine the late Cenozoic fault displacement and displacement history across Panamint Valley to the east, as reported in Andrew and Walker (2009). The study focused on defining the Miocene and Pliocene rocks and deposits and examining lateral changes and depositional sources of clasts. There are two different volcanic-sedimentary sequences in this area. A Miocene section contains mafic to felsic volcanic units, numerous debris-flow to laharic deposits, and several associated conglomerates and breccias containing exotic clasts. The exotic clasts are matched to rocks in the Panamint Range on the east side of Panamint Valley as reported in Andrew and Walker (2009) as displacement vectors for palinspastic reconstructions. These Miocene strata ubiquitously dip eastward 20–40º. A younger volcanic-sedimentary sequence contains relatively thin mafic lava flows and associated locally derived, coarse-grained mass wasting deposits. These younger basaltic lavas generally have gentle dipping lava flow features and foliation. Numerous faults cut the different age deposits allowing a chronology of Neogene to Quaternary faulting; additionally, there are numerous fabrics associated with Jurassic contraction and Cretaceous(?) dextral shear. The area near Slate Range Crossing has a conspicuous zone of earthquake foci; this study found that some of this seismic activity coincides with a zone of southwest-striking, moderately dipping to the north, sinistral-oblique normal faults, which cut across the northernmost Slate Range. These faults form a structural boundary between the Argus and Slate Ranges and link the fault networks in Panamint Valley with those in Searles Valley. This mapping and structural data demonstrate the two-stage Neogene fault history of the Walker Lane belt deformation in this area and show that regional tilting of rocks occurred after ca. 13 Ma and before ca. 4 Ma; this eastward down-tilting appears to be a discrete event and may mark the change from extension to transtension. This detailed geologic mapping and collection of structural data for the rocks in the eastern Argus and northern Slate Ranges and Panamint Valley were created using digital in-the-field geographic information systems software running on a field-hardened laptop computer. This map is a simplification of detailed geologic mapping data collected at 1:6000 scale and reduced to 1:20000 scale. Structural data includes kinematic and relative timing of deformation information.
View article: https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/gsa/geosphere/article-abstract/doi/10.1130/GES02341.1/612440/Geologic-map-of-Slate-Range-Crossing-area
Geologic map of southern Panamint Valley, southern Panamint Range, and central Slate Range, California, USA
Joseph E. Andrew
Abstract: This detailed geologic map and supplemental digital data set examine and demonstrate the complex deformational history and reactivation relationships of the southern Panamint Valley area (California, USA), from active transtension of the Walker Lane belt, Miocene extension of the Basin and Range, multiple Mesozoic events related to subduction, and Neoproterozoic extension. This collection of map data focuses on the geometry, kinematics, and relative timing of deformation to understand the deformation history and effects of structural reactivation. Andrew and Walker (2009) used these geologic mapping data to palinspastically restore the Fish Canyon area of the Slate Range to overlapping the western Panamint Range at Goler Wash. Neogene extension and subsequent dextral transtension has created a complex network of faults via partial reactivation of Mesozoic and Neoproterozoic structures and has separated the Slate Range from the Panamint Range. The Neogene fault system changes from south to north from dextral strike-slip along the southern Panamint Valley fault to oblique normal slip along the Emigrant fault at a triple junction with the sinistral-oblique normal Manly Pass fault. The Mesozoic deformation history is different in the two ranges across Panamint Valley. The Slate Range was the hanging wall to Jurassic and Cretaceous contractional deformation; this same deformation in the Panamint Range to the east was localized along the western range flank with the majority of the Panamint Range thus being in the footwall to Mesozoic contraction. The western Panamint Range preserves migmatitic fabrics and deformation due to Jurassic contraction and plutonism. The Goldbug fault, along the western Panamint Range, places Paleoproterozoic to Mesoproterozoic rocks over Neoproterozoic to Cretaceous rocks. Jurassic contraction has top-to-the-northeast relative transport and the more discrete Cretaceous thrust faulting in the Panamint Range has top-to-the-east transport. The Butte Valley fault, previously recognized farther north of the map area in the Panamint Range, cuts Late Jurassic rocks and structures. Neoproterozoic to Cambrian sedimentary rocks with top-to-the-northeast contractional deformation occur as relative down-dropped block exposed east of the Butte Valley fault. The Butte Valley fault continues southward and is then deflected by Late Cretaceous thrust faulting on the Goldbug fault. Neoproterozoic deformation is more difficult to discern but is hypothesized to relate to abundant olistostromes mapped within the Kingston Peak Formation in the Panamint Range (i.e., Prave, 1999). This detailed geologic mapping and collection of structural data for the rocks in the southern Panamint Valley area were created using digital in-the-field geographic information systems software running on a field-hardened laptop computer. This map is a simplification of detailed geologic mapping data collected at 1:6000 scales and reduced to 1:20000 scale. Structural data includes kinematic and relative timing of deformation information.
View article: https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/gsa/geosphere/article-abstract/doi/10.1130/GES02342.1/612441/Geologic-map-of-southern-Panamint-Valley-southern
Geologic map of central Panamint Range, California, USA
Joseph E. Andrew
Abstract: This detailed geologic map and supplemental digital data set examine and demonstrate the complex deformational history and reactivation relationships of the Panamint Range (California, USA), from active transtension of the Walker Lane belt, Miocene extension of the Basin and Range, to multiple Mesozoic events related to subduction, and Neoproterozoic extension. This collection of map data focuses on the geometry, kinematics, and relative timing of deformation to understand the deformation history and effects of structural reactivation. A minor portion of this geologic mapping data was presented in the analysis and figures of Andrew and Walker (2009). The Neogene extension and subsequent dextral transtension deformation has created a complex network of faults via partial reactivation of Mesozoic and Neoproterozoic structures. Structural data show oblique normal slip overprinting earlier normal slip along the western range flank fault of the western Panamint Range. Jurassic and Cretaceous deformation is localized along the western range on the Goldbug fault. The hanging wall of this fault preserves migmatitic fabrics and intense deformation due to Jurassic contraction. The Goldbug fault places Paleoproterozoic to Mesoproterozoic rocks over Neoproterozoic rocks. The Jurassic contraction has top-to-the-northeast relative transport and the more discrete Cretaceous thrust faulting has top-to-the-east transport. A set of Late Cretaceous plutonic rocks and mylonitic gneisses derived from them, occur along the Goldbug fault and demonstrate the reactivated nature of this fault in the Late Cretaceous. New data for the Butte Valley fault show that this fault cuts Late Jurassic plutonic rocks and has normal slip. The Butte Valley fault ends northward at the linked sinistral slip Warm Spring Canyon fault, which was previously interpreted to be an intrusive contact. A previously unrecognized rim syncline structure occurs along the boundary of the Late Jurassic Manly Peak quartz monzonite. Neoproterozoic deformation is difficult to discern due to the overprinting deformations. Numerous Neoproterozoic deformation-related mass wasting deposits can be seen within this formation, including a set of conspicuous allochthonous deposits and clasts of older Beck Spring Dolomite that appear to be frozen in the process of breaking away from intact, normal thickness beds in the Surprise–Happy Canyons divide. This detailed geologic mapping and collection of structural data for the rocks in the central Panamint Range were created using digital in-the-field geographic information systems software running on a field-hardened laptop computer combined with an earlier set of field data that were digitized into the digital georeferenced database. This map is a simplification of detailed geologic mapping data collected at 1:2000–1:6000 scales and reduced to 1:20000 scale. Structural data include kinematic and relative timing of deformation information.
View article: https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/gsa/geosphere/article-abstract/doi/10.1130/GES02344.1/612442/Geologic-map-of-central-Panamint-Range-California
Insights into the geometry and evolution of the southern San Andreas fault from geophysical data, southern California
V.E. Langenheim; G.S. Fuis
Abstract: Two new joint gravity-magnetic models in northern Coachella Valley provide additional evidence for a steep northeast dip of the Mission Creek strand of the southern San Andreas fault (southern California, USA). Gravity modeling indicates a steep northeast dip of the Banning fault in the upper 1–2 km in northern Coachella Valley. The Mission Creek strand and its continuation to the southeast (Coachella segment) coincide with the northeastern margin of a Cenozoic basin and are marked by prominent gravity and magnetic gradients that are consistent with these strands of the San Andreas fault having accommodated >160 km of right-lateral and 1–5 km of vertical displacement. These anomalies are best fit by a moderate to steep northeast dip. Such a geometry is further supported by seismicity, reflectivity, geodesy, and boundary-element modeling. We explore the possibility that these fault strands forming the margin of Coachella Valley were originally near vertical and have rotated into their present orientation by underplating of a localized high-velocity, lower-crustal prong within the Peninsular Ranges batholith. Reconstructions of San Andreas fault offset suggest that this crystalline body was translated into the San Gorgonio Pass area at the time of major fault reorganization at 1.1–1.3 Ma.
View article: https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/gsa/geosphere/article-abstract/doi/10.1130/GES02378.1/612449/Insights-into-the-geometry-and-evolution-of-the
Evidence for pre-Cenozoic extension in the eastern Main Ranges of the southern Canadian Rockies
Robert L. Taerum
Abstract: The eastern Main Ranges of the southern Canadian Rocky Mountain thrust-and-fold belt include a network of normal faults (the result of apparent extensional episodes) that occur within a contractional orogen. The origin, timing, and nature of these normal faults remain unresolved. A widely accepted explanation proposes that the normal faults developed as a consequence of postcontractional transtension that occurred west of the Rocky Mountain Trench during the Paleogene Period. Detailed field mapping of deformation in the vicinity of several normal faults has provided evidence that the normal fault surfaces and adjacent strata underwent deformation during a contractional episode after the normal faults had formed. Within the study area, located in the upper Kicking Horse region of Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada, and within the larger region of the Rocky Mountain belt, the network of normal faults is proposed to have developed as a consequence of rifting that separated pericratonic terranes from North America and produced the Slide Mountain Ocean during the Carboniferous and Permian Periods. Overprinting from more recent tectonic episodes has obscured most of these inferred extensional faults throughout the North American Cordillera. Within the study area, however, the Cretaceous to Paleogene contraction carried the normal faults to their present location over unattenuated continental crust, without significant overprinting. This preservation of the network of normal faults allows for investigation of the relationships among the fault surfaces and the strata adjacent to each fault.
View article: https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/gsa/geosphere/article-abstract/doi/10.1130/GES02347.1/612428/Evidence-for-pre-Cenozoic-extension-in-the-eastern
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