Reading List


General – everyone should read

Dickinson, W., 1981, Plate tectonics and the continental margin of California, in Ernst, W.G., ed., The geotectonic development of California: Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, Prentice-Hall, p. 1-28.

Atwater, T., 1970, Implications of plate tectonics for Cenozoic tectonic evolution of western North America: Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., v. 81, p. 3513-3536.

Dickinson, W.R., and Snyder, W.S., 1978, Plate tectonics of the Laramide orogeny, in Matthews, V., ed., Laramide folding associated with basement block faulting in the western United States, Volume Geol. Soc. Am. Mem. 151, p. 355-366.


Franciscan (eclogites, blueschists)

Ernst, W.G., Maruyama, S., and Wallis, S., 1997, Buoyancy-driven, rapid exhumation of ultrahigh-pressure metamorphosed continental crust: Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., v. 94, p. 9532-9537.

Hagstrum, J.T., and Murchey, B.L., 1993, Deposition of Franciscan complex cherts along the paleoequaotr and accretion to the American margin at tropical paleolatitudes: Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., v. 105, p. 766-778.

Platt, J.P., 1975, Metamorphic and deformational processes in the Franciscan complex, California: some insights from the Catalina Schist terrane: Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., v. 86, p. 1337-1347.

Tsujimori, T., Matsumoto, K., Wakabayashi, J., and Liou, J.G., 2006, Franciscan eclogite revisited: reevaluation of the P-T evolution of tectonic blocks from Tiburon Peninsula, California, USA: Mineral. Petrol., v. 88, p. 243-267.



Great Valley

Constenius, K.N., Johnson, R.A., Dickinson, W.R., and Williams, T.A., 2006, Tectonic evolution of the Jurassic-Cretaceous Great Valley forearc, California: implications for the Franciscan thrust-wedge hypothesis: Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., v. 112, p. 1703-1723.

Renne, P.R., Tobisch, O.T., and Saleeby, J., 1993, Thermochronologic record of pluton emplacement, deformation, and exhumation at Courtright shear zone, central Sierra Nevada, California: Geology, v. 21, p. 331-334.


Ophiolites and serpentinites

Evans, B.W., 1977, Metamorphism of alpine peridotite and serpentinite: Ann. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci., v. 5, p. 397-447.

Hacker, B.R., and Peacock, S., 1990, Comparison of the Central Metamorphic Belt and Trinity terrane of the Klamath mountains with the Feather River terrane of the Sierra Nevada: Geol. Soc. Am. Spec. Paper, v. 255.

Moores, E.M., and Vine, F.J., 1971, The Troodos Massif, Cyprus and other ophiolites as oceanic crust: evaluation and implications: Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. London, Series A, v. 268, p. 443-466.


Sierra Nevada Batholith

Ague, J.J., and Brimhall, G.H., 1987, Granites of the batholiths of California: products of local assimilation and regional-scale crustal contamination: Geology, v. 15, p. 63-66.

Ague, J.J., and Brimhall, G.H., 1988, Magmatic arc asymmetry and distribution of anomalous plutonic belts in the batholiths of California: effects of assimilation, crustal thickness and depth of crystallization: Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., v. 100, p. 912-927.

Annen, C., Blundy, J.D., and Sparks, R.S.J., 2006, The genesis of intermediate and silicic magmas in deep crustal hot zones: J. Petrol., v. 47, p. 505-539.

Kistler, R.W., 1990, Two different lithosphere types in the Sierra Nevada, California, in Anderson, J.L., ed., The nature and origin of Cordilleran magmatism, Volume Geol. Soc. Am. Mem. 174: Boulder, CO, Geological Society of America, p. 271-281.

Lee, C.-T.A., Morton, D.M., Kistler, R.W., and Baird, A.K., 2007, Petrology and tectonics of Phanerozoic continent formation: from island arcs to accretion and continental arc magmatism: Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., v. 263, p. 370-387.

Petford, N., Cruden, A.R., McCaffrey, K.J.W., and Vigneresse, J.-L., 2000, Granite magma formation, transport and emplacement in the Earth's crust: Nature, v. 408, p. 669-673.


Gold and metallogeny

Ernst, W.G., Snow, C.A., and Scherer, H.H., 2008, Mesozoic transpression, transtension, subduction and metallogenesis in northern and central California: Terra Nova, v. 20, p. 394-413.

Dilek, Y., and Moores, E.M., 1999, A Tibetan model for the early Tertiary western United States: J. Geol. Soc. London, v. 156, p. 929-941.

Groves, D.I., Goldfarb, R.J., Gebre-Mariam, M., Hagemann, S.G., and Robert, F., 1998, Orogenic gold deposits: a proposed classification in the context of their crustal distribution and relationship to other gold deposit types: Ore Geology reviews, v. 13, p. 7-27.


Sierran Uplift

Unruh, J.R., 1991, The uplift of the Sierra Nevada and implications for late Cenozoic epeirogeny in the western Cordillera: Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., v. 103, p. 1395-1404.

Mulch, A., Graham, S.A., and Chamberlain, C.P., 2006, Hydrogen in Eocene River Gravels and Paleoelevation of the Sierra Nevada: Science, v. 313, p. 87-89.


Large Silicic Magma Chambers

Bailey, R.A., Dalrymple, G.B., and Lanphere, M.A., 1976, Volcanism, structure, and geochronology of Long Valley caldera, Mono County, California: J. Geophys. Res., v. 81, p. 725-744.

Hildreth, W., 1979, The Bishop Tuff: evidence for the origin of compositional zonation in silicic magma chambers: Geol. Soc. Am. Spec. Paper, v. 180, p. 43-75.

Hildreth, W., and Wilson, C.J.N., 2007, Compositional zoning of the Bishop Tuff: J. Petrol., v. 48, p. 951-999.

Hildreth, W., 2004, Volcanological perspectives on Long Valley, Mammoth Mountain and Mono Craters: several contiguous but discrete systems: J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res., v. 136, p. 169-198.

Lipman, P.W., 1997, Subsidence of ash-flow calderas: relation to caldera size and magma-chamber geometry: Bulletin of Volcanology, v. 59, p. 198-218.

Reid, M.R., and Coath, C.D., 2000, In situ U-Pb ages of zircons from the Bishop Tuff: no evidence for long crystal residence times: Geology, v. 28, p. 443-446.

Wilson, C.J.N., and Hildreth, W., 2003, Assembling an ignimbrite: mechanical and thermal building blocks in the Bishop Tuff, California: J. Geology, v. 111, p. 653-670.

Wilson, C.J.N., and Hildreth, W., 1997, The Bishop Tuff: new insights from eruptive stratigraphy: J. Geology, v. 105, p. 407-439.


Sierran ultramafic and mafic intrusions

Sisson, T.W., Grove, T.L., and Coleman, R.G., 1996, Hornblende gabbro sill complex at Onion valley, California, and a mixing origin for the Sierra Nevada batholith: Contrib. Mineral. Petrol., v. 126, p. 81-108.

Snoke, A.W., Sharp, W.R., Wright, J.E., and Saleeby, J., 1982, Significance of mid-Mesozoic peridotitic to dioritic intrusive complexes, Klamath Mountains - western Sierra Nevada, California: Geology, v. 10, p. 160-166.

James, O.B., 1971, Origin and emplacement of the ultramafic rocks of the emigrant gap area, California: J. Petrol., v. 12, p. 523-560.


Contact Metamorphism

Kerrick, D.M., 1971, The genesis of zoned skarns in the Sierra Nevada, California: J. Petrol., v. 18, p. 144-181.

Stevens, C.H., and Greene, D.C., 1999, Stratigraphy, depositional history, and tectonic evolution of paleozoic continental-margin rocks in roof pendants of the eastern Sierra Nevada, California: Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., v. 111, p. 919-933.


Sierran Glaciations

Sharp, R.P., and Birman, J.H., 1963, Additions to classical sequence of Pleistocene glaciations, Sierra Nevada, California: Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., v. 74, p. 1079-1086.

Phillips, F.M., Zreda, M.G., Smith, S.S., Elmore, D., Kubik, P.W., and Sharma, P., 1990, Cosmogenic Chlorine-36 chronology for glacial deposits at Bloody Canyon, Eastern Sierra Nevada: Science, v. 248, p. 1529-1532.


Neogene Tectonics (Basin and Range)

Dickinson, W.R., 2006, Geotectonic evolution of the Great Basin: Geosphere, v. 2, p. 353-368.

Troxel, B.W., and Wright, L.A., 1987, Tertiary extensional features, Death Valley region, eastern California: Geol. Soc. Am. Centennial Field Guide-Cordilleran Section, 1987, p. 121-132.

Wernicke, B., 1992, Cenozoic extensional tectonics of the U. S. Cordillera: Boulder, Colorado, Geological Society of America, 553-581 p.

Zehfuss, P.H., Bierman, P.R., Gillespie, A.R., Burke, R.M., and Caffee, M.W., 2001, Slip rates on the Fish Springs fault, Owens Valley, California, deduced from cosmogenic 10Be and 26Al and soil development on fan surfaces: Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., v. 113, p. 241-255.



Manley, C.R., Glazner, A.F., and Farmer, G.L., 2000, Timing of volcanism in the Sierra Nevada of California; evidence for Pliocene delamination of the batholithic root?: Geology, v. 28, p. 811-814.

Lee, C.-T.A., Cheng, X., and Horodyskyj, U., 2006, The development and refinement of continental arcs by primary basaltic magmatism, garnet pyroxenite accumulation, basaltic recharge and delamination: insights from the Sierra Nevada, California: Contrib. Mineral. Petrol., p. DOI 10.1007/s00410-005-0056-1.

Saleeby, J., Ducea, M., and Clemens-Knott, D., 2003, Production and loss of high-density batholithic root, southern Sierra Nevada, California: Tectonics, v. 22, p. doi:10.1029/2002TC001374.


Cenozoic basaltic volcanism

Blondes, M.S., Reiners, P.W., Ducea, M.N., Singer, B., and Chesley, J.T., 2008, Temporal-compositional trends over short and long time-scales in basalts of the Big Pine Volcanic Field, California: Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., v. 269, p. 140-154.

Mordick, B.E., and Glazner, A.F., 2006, Clinopyroxene thermobarometry of basalts from the Coso and Big Pine volcanic fields: Contrib. Mineral. Petrol., v. 152, p. 111-124.

Wang, K., Plank, T., Walker, J.D., and Smith, E.I., 2002, A mantle melting profile across the Basin and Range, SW USA: J. Geophys. Res., v. 107, p. no.1, 21.


Snowball Earth

Corsetti, F.A., Awramik, S.M., and Pierce, D., 2003, A complex microbiota from snowball Earth times: microfossils from the Neoproterozoic Kingston Peak Formation, Death Valley, USA: Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., v. 100, p. 4399-4404.

Prave, A.R., 1999, Two diamictites, two cap carbonates, two d13C excursions, two rifts: the Neoproterozoic Kingston Peak Formation, Death Valley, California: Geology, v. 27, p. 339-342.



Dasgupta, R., and Hirschmann, M.M., 2006, Melting in the Earth's deep upper mantle caused by carbon dioxide: Nature, v. 440, p. 659-662.

Woolley, A.R., and Kjarsgaard, B.A., 2008, Paragenetic types of carbonatite as indicated by the diversity and relative abundances of associated silicate rocks: evidence from a global database: Canadian Mineralogist, v. 46, p. 741-751.


Other interesting things

Axelrod, D.I., and Raven, P.H., 1985, Origins of the Cordilleran Flora: J. Biogeography, v. 12, p. 21-47.

Lindgren, W., 1896, The gold-quartz veins of Nevada City and Grass Valley Districts, California: 7th Annual Report of the Survey, 1895-96, Part II - Economic geology and hydrography, p. 333.

Moores, E.M., Wakabayashi, J., Unruh, J.R., and Waechter, S., 2006, A transect spanning 500 million years of active plate margin history: outline and field trip guide, in Prentice, C.S., Scotchmoor, J.G., Moores, E.M., and Kiland, J.P., eds., 1906 San francisco Earthquake Centennial Field Guids: field trips associated with the 100th anniversary conference, 18-23 April 2006: San Francisco, California, Geological Society of America, Field Trip Guide 7, p. 373-413.

Safford, H.D., Viers, J.H., and Harrison, S.P., 2005, Serpentine endemism in the California flora: a database of serpentine affinity: Madrono, v. 52, p. 222-257.