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Paleomagnetic Studies on Neogene Rocks from Southern California

Bruce P. Luyendyk

For the past 13 years, the paleomagnetism of Neogene age volcanic and sedimentary rocks in southern California has been studied. Volcanic rocks studied are mostly early and middle Miocene. Sedimentary rocks studied are mostly middle and late Miocene dolostones from the Monterey Formation. Clockwise declination anomalies are prominent and are interpreted as indicators of clockwise tectonic rotation. West of the San Andreas fault in the western Transverse Ranges and Channel Islands, clockwise rotation began during the middle Miocene, paused in late Miocene, and resumed in the Pliocene. An exception is the San Gabriel Mountain region, which possibly has rotated counterclockwise since late Miocene. East of the San Andreas fault, clockwise rotations took place in the central M jave Desert during the early Miocene. The Orocopia Mountains region may have rotated clockwise during the middle Miocene. The Eastern Transverse Ranges rotated clockwise mostly during post-Miocene time and some parts of the Mojave Desert rotated counterclockwise. Magnetic reversal stratigraphy has been studied for a few sections in the Monterey Formation. Control is dictated by the abundance of dolostone beds, as other lithologies do not possess a primary remanence. Five sections along the north coast of the Santa Barbara Channel have been correlated to the magnetic polarity time scale by J. S. Hornafius. Study of two thick sections of early Miocene flows from the Soledad basin by R. R. Terres yielded a detailed scheme of secular variation. Elsewhere, flow sequences are too short and dis ontinuous in time to yield a magnetic reversal stratigraphy.

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