Title

Cenozoic Tectonic Transitions in Western North America

Date

6-1-2017 1:00 PM

End Time

1-6-2017 2:00 PM

Location

RWEC 201

Department

Earth Science

Session Chair

Jeffrey Templeton

Session Title

Earth Science Senior Seminar: Understanding the Tectonic Development and Framework of western North America

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Jeffrey Templeton

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

The tectonic framework of western North America has undergone significant changes throughout the Cenozoic, which in turn has influenced the evolution of large-scale features in dramatic ways. Subduction zone processes have dominated the region since the Paleozoic, but the decrease in the subduction angle of the Farallon Plate in the early Cenozoic resulted in uplift and deformation across a broad swath of the western United States. Beyond driving the Laramide orogeny, flat-slab subduction also influenced the locus of magmatism and volcanism across western North America. During the late Cenozoic, the transition from subduction dominated processes to transform faulting along the west coast was marked by the northward migration of the Mendocino triple junction and the formation of the San Andreas and Walker Lane fault systems. Understanding how prominent geologic features in the west are connected to these broad-scale changes in the tectonic setting are crucial to interpreting the geologic framework of western North America.

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Jun 1st, 1:00 PM Jun 1st, 2:00 PM

Cenozoic Tectonic Transitions in Western North America

RWEC 201

The tectonic framework of western North America has undergone significant changes throughout the Cenozoic, which in turn has influenced the evolution of large-scale features in dramatic ways. Subduction zone processes have dominated the region since the Paleozoic, but the decrease in the subduction angle of the Farallon Plate in the early Cenozoic resulted in uplift and deformation across a broad swath of the western United States. Beyond driving the Laramide orogeny, flat-slab subduction also influenced the locus of magmatism and volcanism across western North America. During the late Cenozoic, the transition from subduction dominated processes to transform faulting along the west coast was marked by the northward migration of the Mendocino triple junction and the formation of the San Andreas and Walker Lane fault systems. Understanding how prominent geologic features in the west are connected to these broad-scale changes in the tectonic setting are crucial to interpreting the geologic framework of western North America.