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Southern California Areal Mapping Project

Geologic Framework of the Cuyama 30' x 60' Quadrangle

| Selected References |


The Cuyama 30' x 60' quadrangle is in a region of major geologic structures and geologically recent to ongoing structural deformation. The "Big Bend" segment of the San Andreas fault traverses the northeastern part of the quadrangle, just a few miles southeast of the epicenter of the 1857 Fort Tejon earthquake. This fault segment is oriented nearly east-west in contrast to the northwesterly orientation of the San Andreas fault in other areas. Converging on the San Andreas fault in this area are various east-west-oriented high-angle and low-angle faults of the western Transverse Ranges province, including possible blind thrusts akin to those that triggered the 1994 Northridge earthquake. To the west, the Cuyama Valley and adjacent mountains of the Coast Ranges are a geologically complex region where long-lived marine and nonmarine deposition and subsequent contractional deformation have created a setting for some of California's best-producing oil fields. SCAMP geologic mapping and related investigations in the Cuyama 30' x 60' quadrangle are designed to further clarify the geometry and evolution of these major geologic features and their significance for the tectonic development and earthquake hazard potential of southern California.
Location of the Cuyama 30' x 60' Quadrangle
The Cuyama 30' x 60' quadrangle is in a region of major geologic structures and geologically recent to ongoing structural deformation.
To date, our investigations have focused on eight 7.5' quadrangles in San Rafael-Sierra Madre Mountains region in the western part of the Cuyama 30' x 60' sheet (Bates Canyon, Peak Mtn., Bald Mtn., Hurricane Deck, Salisbury Potrero, Figueroa Mtn., San Rafael Mtn., and Big Pine Mtn.) and on six 7.5' quadrangles in the Lockwood Valley-Cuyama badlands area in the eastern part (Apache Canyon, Sawmill Mtn., Cuddy Valley, Reyes Peak, San Guillermo Mtn., and Lockwood Valley). Field work in most of these quadrangles is largely complete and the mapping in several quadrangles is being digitally compiled. Digital geologic maps are presently available for the Apache Canyon and San Guillermo Mountain quadrangles.

San Rafael-Sierra Madre Mountains region

One major scientific theme addressed by our investigations in the San Rafael-Sierra Madre Mountains region is the paleogeographic evolution of late Mesozoic and Cenozoic sedimentary basins in this area. Recent work in the Big Pine Mtn. quadrangle, for example, has demonstrated that the rate of sedimentation during the Late Cretaceous, Paleocene, and early Eocene (about 70 to 50 million years ago) was unusually slow, implying a paleogeography of sediment-starved, deep-water basins similar to those of the modern southern California borderland. Other research has focused on resolving the geometric relations at the west end of the Big Pine fault, which many geologists consider to be the northern boundary of the western Transverse Ranges province. Our mapping has shown that this important fault, which strikes nearly east-west in the Big Pine Mtn. quadrangle, curves to a northwesterly strike farther west and eventually merges with the northwest-striking East Huasna fault in the southern Coast Ranges. This change in strike may hold clues to the tectonic history and significance of the Big Pine fault and its earthquake potential.

Lockwood Valley-Cuyama badlands area

In the Lockwood Valley-Cuyama badlands area, much of our mapping has focused on clarifying the surface traces, geometries, offsets, and slip histories of late Cenozoic faults located southwest of the San Andreas fault. Our work in the San Guillermo Mountain quadrangle, for example, has shown that the eastern part of the Big Pine fault is not a continuous, left-lateral strike-slip fault that intersects the San Andreas fault as previously thought. Instead, the Big Pine fault terminates eastward as a south-dipping thrust fault, and is separate from the fault extending eastward to the San Andreas. This new interpretation challenges prevailing models for the regional tectonic significance of the Big Pine fault and its structural relation to the San Andreas fault. In addition, our mapping has more accurately defined the geometry of several major low-angle faults in this area along which Precambrian and Mesozoic crystalline basement rocks have been thrust over late Cenozoic sedimentary deposits, probably as a result of compressive forces generated at the "Big Bend" of the San Andreas fault. Our work also has produced new data for better reconstructing the Cenozoic depositional history of the area, including paleontologic evidence of deep-water marine sedimentation in the middle Eocene (about 45 million years ago) and stratigraphic and structural evidence of deformation and erosion in late Miocene time between about 5 and 10 million years ago.

Cooperative Interactions

SCAMP geologic-mapping investigations in the central and western part of the Cuyama 30' x 60' quadrangle have been coordinated and cost-shared with the U.S. Geological Survey's Energy Resources Program. In the eastern part of the quadrangle, geologic investigations have significantly impacted and changed clay-resource assessment studies underway by the U.S. Forest Service. In addition, information provided by USFS botanists has created clear associations between certain geologic units and different plant communities.

Recent SCAMP Products

Cole, R.B., and Stanley, R.G., 1995, Middle Tertiary extension recorded by lacustrine fan-delta deposits, Plush Ranch basin, western Transverse Ranges, California: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. B65, no. 4, p. 455-468.

Cole, R.B., and Stanley, R.G., 1998, Volcanic rocks of the Santa Maria province, California: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1995-R, p. R1-R35.

Kellogg, K. S. and D. P. Miggins, 2002. Geologic Map of the
Sawmill Mountain Quadrangle, Kern and Ventura Counties, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 02-406. http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2002/ofr-02-406/

Kellogg, K.S.,2003, Geologic map of the Cuddy Valley Quadrangle, Kern and Ventura Counties, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 03-153, scale 1:24,000.

Kellogg, K. S., 1999, Geologic Map of the Lockwood Valley Quadrangle, Ventura County, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 99-0130. http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/1999/ofr-99-0130/

McCrory, P.A., Wilson, D.S., Ingle, J.C., Jr., and Stanley, R.G., 1995, Neogene geohistory analysis of Santa Maria basin, California, and its relationship to transfer of central California to the Pacific plate: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1995-J, p. J1-J38.

Minor, S. A., 1999, Preliminary geologic map of the San Guillermo Mountain quadrangle, Ventura County, California, version 1.0: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 99-032, scale 1:24,000.

Minor, S.A., and Kellogg, K.S., 1997, A smaller Big Pine fault: New interpretations of fault architecture in the western Transverse Ranges, southern California: EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, v. 78, no. 46, p. F700.

Stanley, R.G., and Vedder, J.G., 2000, New digital geologic map of the San Rafael Mtn. 7.5-minute quadrangle (Santa Barbara County, California) and a new interpretation of the Camuesa fault: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, v. 84, no. 12, p. 1960.

Stanley, R.G., Stone, Paul, Vedder, J.G., McDougall, Kristin, Kellogg, K.S., Minor, S.A., and Premo, W.R., 1998, New 1:24,000-scale geologic mapping in the Cuyama 30 x 60 min. sheet, southern Coast Ranges and western Transverse Ranges, Calif.: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 30, no. 5, p. 65-66.

Stanley, R.G., Wilson, D.S., and McCrory, P.A., 2000, Locations and ages of middle Tertiary volcanic centers in coastal California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 00-154, 27 p.

Stone, Paul, and Cosette, P.M., 2000, Geologic map and digital database of the Apache Canyon 7.5' quadrangle, Ventura and Kern Counties, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 00-359, scale 1:24,000.

U.S. Geological Survey, 1996, Aeromagnetic map of parts of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Bakersfield, Long Beach, and Santa Ana 1º by 2º quadrangle, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 96-550, 1:250,000 scale.

U.S. Geological Survey, 1996, Aeromagnetic map of the Carrizo Plain area on parts of the Bakersfield, Los Angeles, and San Louis Obispo 1º by 2º quadrangles, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 96-692, scale 1:100,000.

Vedder, J.G., Howell, D.G., and McLean, Hugh, 1994, Preliminary geologic map of Bates Canyon and part of Peak Mountain quadrangles, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 94-128, scale 1:24,000.

Vedder, J.G., McLean, Hugh, and Stanley, R.G., 1994, New 1:24,000-scale geologic maps show stratigraphic and structural relations that require reinterpretation of Cretaceous and Cenozoic tectonic events in the Sierra Madre-San Rafael Mountains area, California: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 26, no. 2, p. 100-101.

Vedder, J.G., McLean, Hugh, and Stanley, R.G., 1995, Preliminary geologic map of Big Pine Mtn. quadrangle, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 95-554, scale 1:24,000.

Vedder, J.G., Stanley, R.G., McLean, Hugh, Cotton, M.L., Filewicz, M.V., and Vork, D.R., 1998, Age and tectonic inferences from a condensed (?) succession of Upper Cretaceous, Paleocene, and Eocene strata, Big Pine Mountain, Santa Barbara County, California: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1995-S, p. S1-S33.

Vedder, J. G., and Stanley, R. G., 2001, Geologic Map and
Digital Database of the San Rafael Mtn. 7.5-minute Quadrangle, Santa
Barbara County, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 01-290. http://geopubs.wr.usgs.gov/open-file/of01-290/

 

Yokoyama, C.E., Cole, R.B., Schwartz, R.K., and Stanley, R.G., 1996, Provenance evaluation using sandstone petrography in a middle Tertiary extensional basin, Plush Ranch Formation, California: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 28, no. 3, p. 111.

 


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