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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Housen, Bernard Arthur

Second Advisor

Burmester, Russell F.

Third Advisor

Hansen, Thor A.


The sedimentary Palm Spring Formation crops out in the Mecca Hills, CA and preserves valuable information about the evolution of the San Andreas fault system in the transtentional Salton Trough. Constraining the timing of deposition for the Palm Spring Formation upper unit is useful for estimating timing of basin development due to fault motions. Magnetostratigraphic correlation is used as the most viable means of dating this sequence because the unit lacks well constrained age indicative fossils and strata. Paleomagnetic analysis is also used to constrain the amount of vertical axis rotation that the region has undergone within the southern San Andreas fault system. The base of the studied section is interpreted to be younger than the 2.581 Ma start of the Matuyama reverse polarity chron and the section is interpreted to span most of this chron, including the Réunion, Olduvai and Jaramillo normal chrons. The top of the Palm Spring Fm. upper unit is interpreted to be younger than the termination of the Jaramillo normal chron (0.99 Ma) and older than the 0.78 Ma Brunhes-Matuyama boundary. Correlation of the measured section with the geomagnetic polarity time scale ages yields an average sedimentation rate of 0.4 mm/year. Comparison of the mean direction of the reverse polarity site means to the expected magnetic field direction yields 7.3° ± 8.0° of counterclockwise rotation for the region.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Faults (Geology)--California--Mecca Hills; Strike-slip faults (Geology)--California--Mecca Hills; Paleomagnetism--California--Mecca Hills; Geology, Stratigraphic--Pliocene; Geology, Stratigraphic--Pleistocene

Geographic Coverage

Mecca Hills (Calif.)




masters theses




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