The ‘Scripps Dike’ and its implications for mid-Miocene volcanism and tectonics of the California Continental Borderland

Day, JMD, Koppers AAP, Mendenhall BC, Oller B.  2019.  The ‘Scripps Dike’ and its implications for mid-Miocene volcanism and tectonics of the California Continental Borderland. SEPM Special Publication. 110:43-55.: Society for Sedimentary Geology

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New field observations, petrology, geochemistry, and 40Ar/39Ar geochronology are reported for the Scripps Dike, which crops out at the coast north of La Jolla, California. The northeast–southwest-trending and laterally discontinuous dike has a basaltic–trachyandesite bulk composition,
with an emplacement age of 13.89 6 0.13 Ma. Modeling of the dike composition indicates that it formed from 0.5 to 1.5% partial melting of a primitive mantle-type source, metasomatized by slab fluids, predominantly in the garnet stability field. The composition of the dike, including relatively high MgO (6.6 wt.%) and Sr/Y (~105), makes it akin to magnesian andesites in Baja California, Mexico, termed ‘‘bajaites.’’ Field evidence indicates
that the current exposure of the dike is close to the original stalling depth, it was probably associated with explosive volcanism, and the dike flowed laterally. After accounting for alteration, the dike has an initial 87Sr/86Sr composition of 0.70390, with limited evidence for crustal contamination, consistent with derivation from a slab-fluid-metasomatized mantle source. The composition of the dike places it broadly in the range of Miocene California Continental Borderland (hereafter referred to as Borderland) volcanic rocks studied previously. A comparison of ages of volcanic rocks occurring along the Borderland margin reveals an approximately age-progressive trend to the southeast. This represents an opposite sense to the apparent ageprogressive trend for Miocene to Recent volcanic rocks north of the Western Transverse Ranges. Possible models to explain the compositions and age relationships of Miocene to Recent volcanic rocks of the Borderland region include southeasterly migration of volcanism in response to Rivera Triple Junction movement and slab window formation, or the presence of a weak ‘‘hotspot’’ that has been active since at least the Miocene. Identification of the process(es) responsible for Borderland volcanism is currently limited by dissection and northwestward movement of Borderland rocks in response to northwest–southeast shearing of the Pacific–North American plate boundary, and by the quality and quantity of reported age-dates and paleomagnetic information. The formation processes of volcanism in the Borderland have ramifications for palinspastic reconstruction of the margin, as well as for the thermal and magmatic evolution of western California in response to a change in plate motion in a subduction to transform setting. The Scripps Dike provides evidence that regions of the mantle beneath the California Continental Borderland were metasomatized by slab fluids in a manner similar to portions of mantle beneath central Baja California, Mexico.