Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

Structural geology of the Morales Canyon and Taylor Canyon region of the Cuyama basin, southern Coast Ranges, California

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  • Early structural influences on the Cuyama basin include Oligocene extension followed by early Miocene wrench faulting. Evidence of wrench faulting is obscured by Pleistocene thrust faulting. Detailed surface and subsurface structural analysis was used to separately examine the effects of each structural regime. The northwest-trending, right-lateral Russell fault was the dominant structural influence in the Cuyama basin during the Neogene. A previously unrecognized strand of this wrench fault system, the Eastern Russell fault, diverges from the Russell fault north of Morales Canyon. The Russell and Eastern Russell faults experienced concurrent parallel evolutions throughout the Neogene. A series of deformational episodes beginning as early as 23 Ma produced en echelon folds, normal faults, and strike-slip faults associated with each wrench fault. Palinspastic analysis documents 16 to 18 miles of post-Oligocene right-lateral separation along the entire Russell fault system. Contacts between crystalline basement and both pre-Oligocene strata and Oligocene Simmler Formation are offset 8 to 9 miles along each strand of this system northwest of the Russell fault-Eastern Russell fault junction. Restoration of the cumulative offset on the Russell fault system restores the La Panza fault to a position adjacent to the Ozena fault. This reconstruction and the occurrence of coarse Oligocene red-beds north of each fault suggest that the La Panza and Ozena faults were one continuous normal fault, north side down, during the Oligocene. The Russell and Eastern Russell faults were active as Neogene sliver faults of the Salinian block during inland migration of transform Pacific-North American plate shear. The modest offsets and the timing documented for each fault support this interpretation. Later right-slip was accommodated along the San Andreas fault. Pleistocene thrust faulting overprinted and was influenced by older structures within the basin. The Whiterock fault ramped over basement blocks uplifted by the Eastern Russell fault, producing rootless folds in the upper plate. Eventual. failure of these folds resulted in scissors-like displacement along the Taylor Canyon fault.
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  • Plate I dimensions: 35.5 x 60 Plate II dimensions: 42 x 48 Plate III dimensions: 28 x 23.5 Plate IV dimensions: 36 x 48 Plate V dimensions: 35.5 x 16.5 Plate VI dimensions: 31 x 14.5 Plate VII dimensions: 30.5 x 16 Plate VIII dimensions: 39 x 16.5 Plate IX dimensions: 36 x 15 Plate X dimensions: 37 x 18 Plate XI dimensions: 49 x 18 Plate XII dimensions: 38 x 18.5 Plate XIII dimensions: 36 x 31 Plate XIV dimensions: 36 x 15.5 Plate XV dimensions: 36 x 18 Plate XVI dimensions: 36 x 54 Plate XVII dimensions: 35.5 x 30.5 Plate XVIII dimensions: 36 x 48



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