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Geochemistry of Mesozoic plutons, southern Death Valley region, California: Insights into the origin of Cordilleran interior magmatism

January 1, 2002

Mesozoic granitoid plutons in the southern Death Valley region of southeastern California reveal substantial compositional and isotopic diversity for Mesozoic magmatism in the southwestern US Cordillera. Jurassic plutons of the region are mainly calc-alkaline mafic granodiorites with εNdi of –5 to –16, 87Sr/86Sr i of 0.707–0.726, and 206Pb/204Pb i of 17.5–20.0. Cretaceous granitoids of the region are mainly monzogranites with εNdi of –6 to –19, 87Sr/86Sr i of 0.707–0.723, and 206Pb/204Pb i of 17.4–18.6. The granitoids were generated by mixing of mantle-derived mafic melts and pre-existing crust – some of the Cretaceous plutons represent melting of Paleoproterozoic crust that, in the southern Death Valley region, is exceptionally heterogeneous. A Cretaceous gabbro on the southern flank of the region has an unusually juvenile composition (εNdi –3.2, 87Sr/86Sr i 0.7060). Geographic position of the Mesozoic plutons and comparison with Cordilleran plutonism in the Mojave Desert show that the Precambrian lithosphere (craton margin) in the eastern Mojave Desert region may consists of two crustal blocks separated by a more juvenile terrane.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2002
Title Geochemistry of Mesozoic plutons, southern Death Valley region, California: Insights into the origin of Cordilleran interior magmatism
DOI 10.1007/s00410-002-0354-9
Authors O.T. Ramo, J. P. Calzia, P.J. Kosunen
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Series Number
Index ID 70024511
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center