Evidence of Uppermost Proterozoic to Lower Cambrian miogeoclinal rocks and the Mojave-Snow Lake Fault: Snow Lake Pendant, central Sierra Nevada, California
Lahren, Mary M.
Schweickert, Richard A.
Mattinson, James M.
Walker, J. Douglas
American Geophysical Union
Scholarly/refereed, publisher version
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Displaced uppermost Precambrian to Lower Cambrian miogeoclinal strata occur within Snow Lake pendant in the central Sierra Nevada. These rocks have been correlated with the Stirling Quartzite, the Wood Canyon Formation, the Zabriskie Quartzite, and the Carrara Formation in the western Mojave Desert and the San Bernardino Mountains (Lahren and Schweickert, 1989; Lahren, 1989). This correlation is based on new, updated, and previously reported data including (1) lithologic similarities, (2) overall stratigraphic sequence, (3) vertical sequence within individual formations, (4) approximate stratigraphic thicknesses, (5) Skolithos in the correct stratigraphie position, (6) depositional environments, and (7) petrographic character and provenance of quartz arenites. The correlation is strengthened by the fact that Snow Lake pendant and the western Mojave share many other close similarities including (1) initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios of associated granitic rocks >0.706, (2) passive margin tectonic setting of Precambrian to Cambrian miogeoclinal rocks, (3) dikes of the Independence dike swarm, (4) possible Lower Triassic overlap sequence, the Fairview Valley Formation, (5) petrographically similar gabbroic complexes of the same age, (6) associated eugeoclinal rocks, and (7) identical(?) pre-Tertiary structural configuration. New U/Pb zircon geochronology unequivocally shows that dikes at Snow Lake pendant are coeval with the Independence dike swarm of the eastern Sierra and the western Mojave desert and that associated gabbroic complexes in both the Mojave and Snow Lake pendant are the same age. Correlation of Snow Lake pendant with the western Mojave requires about 400 km of dextral displacement of the rocks of Snow Lake pendant, together with associated rocks (Snow Lake block), from the western Mojave Desert along the Mojave-Snow Lake fault. Displacement most likely occurred after 150 Ma, the age of the Independence dike swarm, and before about 110 Ma, the age of major plutons within the Sierra Nevada batholith. This interpretation, if correct, holds major implications for allochthonous terranes west of Snow Lake pendant, which were probably attached to the Snow Lake block before its northward transport. In addition, a number of Paleozoic and Mesozoic tectonic features in western Nevada and eastern California may have been offset dextrally along the proposed Mojave-Snow Lake fault.
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Lahren, M. M., R. A. Schweickert, J. M. Mattinson, and J. D. Walker (1990), Evidence of Uppermost Proterozoic to Lower Cambrian miogeoclinal rocks and the Mojave-Snow Lake Fault: Snow Lake Pendant, central Sierra Nevada, California, Tectonics, 9(6), 1585–1608, http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/TC009i006p01585.
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