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The Goldstein Peak Formation, central California: Record of a nonmarine intra-arc basin within the Early Cretaceous Sierra Nevada arc

Clemens-Knott, Diane and van der Kolk, Dolores A. and Sturmer, Daniel M. and Saleeby, Jason B. (2013) The Goldstein Peak Formation, central California: Record of a nonmarine intra-arc basin within the Early Cretaceous Sierra Nevada arc. Geosphere, 9 (4). pp. 718-735. ISSN 1553-040X. doi:10.1130/GES00886.1.

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New mapping in the Lake Kaweah pendant of the southwestern Sierra Nevada batholith reveals a previously unrecognized nonmarine sequence of metamorphosed sedimentary and volcanic strata, defined herein as the Goldstein Peak Formation. The nonmarine origin distinguishes the Goldstein Peak Formation from all other Sierra Nevada metasedimentary pendants and from virtually all other coeval deposits associated with the Sierra Nevada arc. Basic structural relations, supplemented by new U-Pb zircon ages, suggest an Early Cretaceous depositional age, a time that is poorly represented within the stratigraphic record of California. This unusual age makes the Goldstein Peak Formation the youngest sedimentary deposit preserved within the metamorphic framework of the exhumed batholith, one that was deposited concurrently with some of the earliest deposits in the Great Valley forearc basin and just preceding the mid-Cretaceous Sierra Nevada arc surge. Preserved sedimentary and volcanic structures, along with whole-rock geochemistry, are consistent with deposition of Goldstein Peak conglomerates and sandstones within fluvial and alluvial fan environments, deposition of mud-rich sediments and air-fall tuffs within a lacustrine(?) environment, and subaqueous to subaerial extrusion of basaltic to dacitic arc volcanic rocks. This volcano-sedimentary section was intruded soon after deposition, with peak hornblende hornfels to low-pressure amphibolite facies metamorphism ultimately driven by intrusion of the surrounding Early Cretaceous Stokes Mountain ring dike complexes. Deposition of the nonmarine Goldstein Peak Formation within a fault-bounded, possibly transtensional, intra-arc basin during the transition from the low-standing, moderately extensional, Late Jurassic fringing arc to the high-standing, compressional mid- to Late Cretaceous arc indicates that at least one section of the Sierra Nevada arc was a fully emergent continental margin arc by the Early Cretaceous Epoch.

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Additional Information:© 2013 Geological Society of America. Received 20 November 2012; Revision received 30 March 2013; Accepted 7 April 2013; Published online 13 June 2013. This paper was significantly improved by the thoughtful reviews of Jade Star Lackey and Kathy Surpless, as well as by Cathy Busby’s editorial handling. This study was supported by student-faculty research grants from the California State University (CSU) and by National Science Foundation (NSF) grant EAR-9105692 to Saleeby. Initial descriptions of the metasedimentary and metavolcanic sections constituted the undergraduate thesis projects of CSU Fuller ton (CSUF) alumni Dolores van der Kolk (Ph.D., in progress, University of Texas at Austin) and Dr. Daniel Sturmer (Ph.D., University of Nevada, Reno, 2012; currently at Shell Exploration and Production Company), respectively. The late Dr. John D. Cooper, CSUF Emeritus Professor, guided the initial description and interpretation of the sedimentary protoliths. It is the authors’ great sorrow that “Coop” could not participate in the final synthesis. CSUF advanced petrography students and alumnae Crystal Castellanos, Michelle Gevedon, Kimberly Nepsa, and Michelle Slopko Kane are thanked for their contributions. Field support from Tish Butcher, Jeff Knott, and Steve Turner is gratefully acknowledged. Use of the Pomona College XRF laboratory, which was partially funded by NSF grant DUE-CCLI 0942447, was made possible through the hospitality of Jade Star Lackey. This project would not have been possible without the cooperation and support of the eight landowners of the Goldstein Peak Formation who made the senior author and her students feel welcome. In a class by herself is rancher Barbara Chrisman, who has supported geologic fieldwork and education in the shadow of Goldstein Peak for over 20 years. Sincere thanks, and a debt of gratitude, are owed to them all.
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California State University (CSU)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20131024-091047206
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:42034
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:24 Oct 2013 22:21
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 04:37

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