Mesozoic Tectonic Evolution of the Southern Peninsular Ranges Batholith, Baja California, Mexico: Long-Lived History of a Collisional Segment in the Mesozoic Cordilleran Arc

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The Mesozoic Peninsular Ranges batholith, part of a long-lived Cordilleran subduction orogen, is located at a critical juncture at the southwest corner of cratonal North America. The batholith is divided into northern and southern segments that differ in their evolution. In this paper, we focus on the more poorly understood southern Peninsular Ranges batholith, south of the Agua Blanca fault at ~31.5°N latitude, and we compare its evolution with the better-known northern Peninsular Ranges batholith. Adding our new insights to previous work, our present understanding of the geologic history of the Peninsular Ranges consists of the following: (1) stronger connections between the Paleozoic passive-margin rocks in the eastern Peninsular Ranges batholith and similar assemblages in Sonora, Mexico, to the east and the Sierra Nevada batholith to the north that were originally proposed by earlier workers; (2) continuity of the Triassic–Jurassic accretionary prism and forearc basin assemblage from the northern Peninsular Ranges batholith through the southern Peninsular Ranges batholith; (3) possible synchronous subduction of an ocean ridge or ridge transform along the Peninsular Ranges batholith in late Middle Jurassic time; (4) continuity of the Early Cretaceous Santiago Peak continental arc from the northern Peninsular Ranges batholith along the entire margin, including the southern Peninsular Ranges batholith; (5) development of the Alisitos oceanic arc in Jurassic and possibly Triassic time, much earlier than originally thought; and (6) removal of part of the Santiago Peak assemblage in the southern Peninsular Ranges batholith during collision of the Alisitos terrane in latest Early Cretaceous time.

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Geological Society of America Memoirs, v. 211, p. 645-668