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Structure of Cuyama Valley, Caliente Range, and Carrizo Plain, and Its Significance to Structural Style of Southern Coast Ranges and Western Transverse Ranges

T. L. Davis, W. J. M. Bazeley, S. Gordon, M. B. Lagoe, K. D. McIntosh, J. S. Namson

A concerted exploration program in the Cuyama area by ARCO during the last 10 years, employing surface mapping, deep drilling, high-quality seismic profiles, biostratigraphic analysis, and balanced cross sections, has revealed several significant structural characteristics. (1) Thrust faults, such as the Morales and White Rock, flatten under the Caliente Range and merge into a single system with up to 14 km of slip. This system intersects the San Andreas fault at a high angle and may detach the San Andreas fault at depth from 7 to 8 km. (2) Integration of surface and subsurface mapping shows that these thrust faults have little or no component of strike-slip and are younger than 3 Ma. (3) Major surface folds, such as the Caliente Mountain anticline, are due to thrust faul s ramping upsection and producing fault-bend and fault-propagation folds. (4) The young thrust system has cut across a late Oligocene to early Miocene extensional fault-controlled basin, and both tectonically transported and overthrust portions of this older basin. These structural characteristics strongly suggest that the structural style of the Cuyama area and possibly adjacent areas in the southern Coast Ranges and western Transverse Ranges is that of a fold-and-thrust belt and is not related to wrench tectonics.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91035©1988 AAPG-SEPM-SEG Pacific Sections and SPWLA Annual Convention, Santa Barbara, California, 17-19 April 1988.