|Title:||The Catalina Schist: Evidence for middle Cretaceous subduction erosion of southwestern North America|
|Authors:||M. Grove, G.E. Bebout, C.E. Jacobson, A.P. Barth, D.L. Kimbrough, R.L. King, Haibo Zou, O.M. Lovera, B.J. Mahoney, and G.E. Gehrels|
|Publication:||v. 436, p. .|
The Catalina Schist underlies the inner southern California borderland of southwestern North America. On Santa Catalina Island, amphibolite facies rocks that recrystallized and partially melted at ca. 115 Ma and at 40 km depth occur atop an inverted metamorphic stack that juxtaposes progressively lower grade, high‐pressure/temperature (PT) rocks across low‐angle faults. This inverted metamorphic sequence has been regarded as having formed within a newly initiated subduction zone. However, subduction initiation at ca. 115 Ma has been difficult to reconcile with regional geologic relationships, because the Catalina Schist formed well after emplacement of the adjacent Peninsular Ranges batholith had begun in earnest. New detrital zircon U‐Pb age results indicate that the Catalina Schist accreted over a ⁓20 m.y. interval. The amphibolite unit metasediments formed from latest Neocomian to early Aptian (122‐115 Ma) craton‐enriched detritus derived mainly from the pre‐Cretaceous wall rocks and Early Cretaceous volcanic cover of the Peninsular Ranges batholith. In contrast, lawsonite‐blueschist and lower grade rocks derived from Cenomanian sediments dominated by this batholith’s plutonic and volcanic detritus were accreted between 97 and 95 Ma. Seismic data and geologic relationships indicate that the Catalina Schist structurally underlies the western margin of the northern Peninsular Ranges batholith. We propose that construction of the Catalina Schist complex involved underthrusting of the Early Cretaceous forearc rocks to a subcrustal position beneath the western Peninsular Ranges batholith. The heat for amphibolite facies metamorphism and anatexis observed within the Catalina Schist was supplied by the western part of the batholith while subduction was continuous along the margin. Progressive subduction erosion ultimately juxtaposed the high‐grade Catalina Schist with lower grade blueschists accreted above the subduction zone by 95 Ma. This coincided with an eastern relocation of arc magmatism and emplacement of the ca. 95 Ma La Posta tonalite‐trondjhemite‐granodiorite suite of the eastern Peninsular Ranges batholith. Final assembly of the Catalina Schist marked the initial stage of the Late Cretaceous‐early Tertiary craton‐ward shift of arc magmatism and deformation of southwestern North America that culminated in the Laramide orogeny.