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Sediment provenance and dispersal of Neogene–Quaternary strata of the southeastern San Joaquin Basin and its transition into the southern Sierra Nevada, California

Saleeby, Jason and Saleeby, Zorka and Robbins, Jason and Gillespie, Jan (2016) Sediment provenance and dispersal of Neogene–Quaternary strata of the southeastern San Joaquin Basin and its transition into the southern Sierra Nevada, California. Geosphere, 12 (6). pp. 1744-1773. ISSN 1553-040X.

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We have studied detrital-zircon U-Pb age spectra and conglomerate clast populations from Neogene–Quaternary siliciclastic and volcaniclastic strata of the southeastern San Joaquin Basin, as well as a fault-controlled Neogene basin that formed across the southernmost Sierra Nevada; we call this basin the Walker graben. The age spectra of the detrital-zircon populations are compared to a large basement zircon age data set that is organized into age populations based on major drainage basin geometry of the southern Sierra Nevada and adjacent ranges. We find a direct sediment provenance and dispersal link for much of the Neogene between the Walker graben and the southeastern San Joaquin Basin. In early to middle Miocene time, this link was accented by the delivery of volcaniclastic materials into the southeastern Basin margin from the Cache Peak volcanic center that was nested within the Walker graben. In late middle Miocene through early Pleistocene time, this linkage was maintained by a major fluvial system that we call the Caliente River, whose lower trunk was structurally controlled by growth faults along the Edison graben, which breached the western wall of the Walker graben. The Caliente River redistributed into the southeastern San Joaquin Basin much of the ∼2 km of volcaniclastic and siliciclastic strata that filled the Walker graben. This sediment redistribution was forced by a regional topographic gradient that developed in response to uplift along the eastern Sierra escarpment system. The Caliente River built a fluvial-deltaic fan system that prograded northwestward across the lower trunk of the Kern River and thereby deflected the Kern drainage flux of sediment into the Basin edge northward. In mainly late Miocene time, turbidites generated primarily off the Caliente River delta front built the Stevens submarine fan system of the southeastern and central areas of the San Joaquin Basin. In late Quaternary time, 1–1.8 km of Caliente River–built strata were eroded as an epeirogenic uplift that we call the Kern arch emerged along the southeastern Basin margin, in response to underlying mantle lithosphere removal. The sediment that was eroded off the arch was redistributed mainly into the Maricopa and Tulare sub-basins that are located to the southwest and northwest, respectively, of the arch.

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Additional Information:© 2016 Geological Society of America. Received 9 May 2016; Accepted 31 August 2016; First Published on October 17, 2016. Themed Issue: Origin and Evolution of the Sierra Nevada and Walker Lane. Guest editors: Keith D. Putirka and Cathy J. Busby. Conversations and written communications with L. Knauer, D.D. Miller, and S.A. Reid greatly enriched this research. Technical assistance from A.D. Chapman, K.A. Farley, G.E. Gehrels, and F.J. Sousa is kindly acknowledged. Acquisition of core samples from the California State University, Bakersfield Core Repository, Chevron North American Exploration and Production, and James Baxley was essential for this study. J. Saleeby and Z. Saleeby acknowledge support from the Caltech Tectonics Observatory, and J. Robbins and J. Gillespie acknowledge support from the Department of Physics and Geology, California State University, Bakersfield, and from Chevron North American Exploration and Production. We also acknowledge the use and intellectual support of the University of Arizona LaserChron Center. Critical reviews by Trevor Dumitru and S.A. Graham significantly improved this manuscript.
Group:Caltech Tectonics Observatory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Caltech Tectonics ObservatoryUNSPECIFIED
California State University, BakersfieldUNSPECIFIED
Chevron North American Exploration and ProductionUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:6
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20161117-101127023
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Official Citation:Sediment provenance and dispersal of Neogene–Quaternary strata of the southeastern San Joaquin Basin and its transition into the southern Sierra Nevada, California Jason Saleeby, Zorka Saleeby, Jason Robbins, Jan Gillespie Geosphere Dec 2016, 12 (6) 1744-1773; DOI: 10.1130/GES01359.1
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:72115
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:17 Nov 2016 19:47
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 16:14

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