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Early history and reactivation of the rand thrust, southern California

Journal of Structural Geology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0191-8141(87)90025-3


Abstract The Rand thrust of the Rand Mountains in the northwestern Mojave Desert separates an upper plate of quartz monzonite and quartzofeldspathic to amphibolitic gneiss from a lower plate of metagraywacke and mafic schist (Rand Schist). The Rand thrust is considered part of the regionally extensive Vincent/Chocolate Mountain thrust system, which is commonly believed to represent a Late Cretaceous subduction zone. The initial direction of dip and sense of movement along the Vincent/Chocolate Mountain thrust are controversial. Microfabrics of mylonites and quartzites from the Rand Mountains were analyzed in an attempt to determine transport direction for this region, but the results are ambiguous. In addition, the southwestern portion of the Rand thrust was found to have been reactivated as a low-angle normal fault after subduction. Reactivation might have occurred shortly after subduction, in which case it could account for the preservation of high-pressure mineral assemblages in the Rand Schist, or it could be related to mid-Tertiary extension in the western United States. In either event, the reactivation might be responsible for the complicated nature of the microfabrics. The Rand Schist exhibits an inverted metamorphic zonation. Isograds in the schist are not significantly truncated by the reactivated segment of the Rand thrust. This indicates that other segments of the Vincent/Chocolate Mountain thrust should be re-evaluated for the possibility of late movement, even if they show an apparently undisturbed inverted metamorphic zonation.

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