Detrital zircon geochronology of upper Paleozoic and lower Mesozoic strata of the northern Sierra terrane, northeastern California

Matthew S. Spurlin, George E. Gehrels, David S. Harwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

U-Pb analyses of 56 individual detrital zircon grains from mid-Paleozoic through Lower Jurassic clastic strata of the northern Sierra terrane yield two distinct sets of ages: 1.7-2 .8 Ga grains mainly in Upper Devonian-Mississippian strata of the Picayune Valley Formation, and ca. 370-18 5 Ma grains in strata of Permian through Jurassic age. The older ages are most similar to the ages of grains in the underlying Shoo Fly Complex and in the Roberts Mountains allochthon in Nevada. This age similarity, combined with stratigraphic relations that record a provenance link with the Roberts Mountains allochthon, are consistent with models in which the northern Sierra terrane was located in proximity to the Nevada continental margin during Late Devonian- Mississippian time. The ca. 370-18 5Ma ages of detrital grains in Permian, Triassic, and Jurassic strata are an excellent match for the ages of volcanic rocks within the northern Sierra terrane. The clastic detritus in these units was presumably derived from these intraterrane volcanic rocks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-98
Number of pages10
JournalSpecial Paper of the Geological Society of America
Volume347
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology

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