Jason B. Saleeby
Professor of Geology, Emeritus
North America Cordillera Tectonics and Paleogeography: The North American Cordilleran orogen consists of the remnants Phanerozoic rock assemblages that were produced in various sized ocean basins, island arcs, and intra-plate ridges and plateaus that have been telescoped and accreted to the Neoproterozoic-Paleozoic passive margin of western Laurentia. My long-term strategic studies have focused on Paleozoic and Mesozoic tectonic and paleogeographic reconstructions for the North American Cordillera with special focus on ophiolite basement for ocean basin remnants, and the history of magmatism and deformation of island and continental magmatic arc remnants.
Petrogenetic Development and Subsequent Tectonic Overprints of the Sierra Nevada Batholith: The Mesozoic Sierra Nevada batholith of California represents the iconic continental margin large volume magmatic arc. My research has focused on the southern ~200 km of the batholith where superposed tectonics has exposed an oblique crustal section from volcanic to deep (~35 km) batholithic levels. This natural section has offered an opportunity to study the petrogenesis and primary structure of the batholith, as well as superposed structures in three dimensions. Petrogenetic studies entail source characteristics based on isotopic and element compositional data, as well as fractionation and assimilation patterns over the exposed depth interval. Emplacement mechanisms and superposed structural disruptions are studied by structural, mineralogical, textural, and geochronological techniques.
Landscape Evolution of the Southern Sierra Nevada and Linked Subsidence History of the San Joaquin Basin: The southern Sierra Nevada mountain range possesses a complex landscape that developed over multiple time scales and tectonic forcing regimes. This landscape constituted the sediment source regime for the San Joaquin Basin that developed off the western flank of the range. The subsidence history of this complex sedimentary basin is tuned to major forcing and river canyon incision events in the adjacent Sierran uplands. An integrated picture of basin subsidence and adjacent upland river incision are studied by geomorphic and structure mapping of the upland surface, and by subsurface mapping of the basin by oil well cores and logs, and by industry seismic data. These field-based studies are augmented by low temperature thermochronology of phases from the upland basement surface and from basin detritus, and by detrital zircon geochronology from the basin correlated to a large southern Sierra basement zircon age data set that was generated earlier in my career.
Tectonic and Geodynamic Development of the SW U.S. Upper Mantle: The composition and physical state of the upper mantle beneath the SW U.S. is studied by petrogenetic studies of upper mantle xenoliths that were entrained in late Cenozoic volcanic rocks. These data are leveraged against regional seismic data in order to expand the application of the xenolith findings. These results are further interpreted in the context of crustal tectonic history, and thermomechanical modeling of upper mantle dynamics and the derivative tectonic forcing on crustal deformation. Unique upper mantle domains have been delineated, consisting of Pre-Phanerozoic continental lithosphere, subduction underplated Farallon plate lithosphere, sub-magmatic arc lithosphere, and convectively mobilized late Cenozoic asthenosphere.
North America Cordillera Tectonics and Paleogeography:
Saleeby, J., 2011, Geochemical mapping of the Kings-Kaweah ophiolite belt, southwestern Sierra Nevada Foothills-Evidence for progressive melange formation in a large offset transform-subduction initiation environment: in J. Wakabayashi and E. Dilek, eds. Geological Society of America Special Paper on the The Nature and Formation of Melanges, Geological Society of America Special Paper 480, p. 31-73, doi:10.1130/2011.2480(02).
Clemens-Knott, D., and Saleeby, J., 2013, Mesozoic metasedimentary framework and gabbroids of the Early Cretaceous Sierra Nevada batholith, in Putirka, K., ed., Geologic Excursions from Fresno, California, and the Central Valley: A Tour of California's iconic Geology: Geologicla Society of America Field Guide 32, p. 79-98, doi:10.1130/2013.0032(05).
Saleeby, J., Saleeby, Z., and Sousa, F., 2013, From deep to modern time along the western Sierra Nevada Foothills of California, San Joaquin to Kern River drainages, in Putirka, K., ed., Geologic Excursions from Fresno, California, and the Central Valley: A Tour of California's iconic Geology: Geological Society of America Field Guide 32, p. 37-62, doi:10.1130/2013.0032(03).
Saleeby, J.B., and Dunne, G., 2015, Temporal and tectonic relations of early Mesozoic arc magmatism, southern Sierra Nevada, California, in Anderson, T.H., Didenko, A.N., Johnson, C.L., Khanchuk, A.I., and MacDonald, J.H., Jr., eds., Late Jurassic Margin of Laurasia—A Record of Faulting Accommodating Plate Rotation: Geological Society of America Special Paper 513, p. 1–46, doi:10.1130/2015.2513(05).
Petrogenetic Development and Subsequent Tectonic Overprints of the Sierra Nevada Batholith:
Chapman, A.D., Kidder, S., Saleeby, J.B., Ducea M.N., 2010, Role of extrusion of the Rand and Sierra de Salinas schists in Late Cretaceous extension and rotation of the southern Sierra Nevada and vicinity, Tectonics, doi:10.1029/2009TC002597.
Nadin, E.S., and Saleeby, J., 2010, Quaternary reactivation of the Kern Canyon fault system, southern Sierra Nevada, California, Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, v. 122, p.1671-1685, doi:10.1130/B30009.1.
Chapman, A.D., Luffi, P., Saleeby, J., and Petersen, S., 2011, Partial melting, counterclockwise P-T path, and rapid exhumation above an ancient flat slab, insights form the San Emigdio Mountains, California, Journal of Metamorphic Geology. doi:10.1111/j.1525-1314.2011.00932.x.
Cecil, M.R., Rotberg, G., Ducea, M.N., Saleeby, J.B., and Gehrels, G.E., 2012, Magmatic growth and batholith root development in the northern Sierra Nevada, California, Geosphere, v. 8; no. 3; doi:10.1130/GES00729.1.
Chapman, A.D., Saleeby, J., Wood, D.J., and Piasecki, A., Kidder, S., Ducea, M.N., and Farley, K.A., 2012, Late Cretaceous gravitational collapse of the southern Sierra Nevada batholith, Geosphere, doi:10.1029/2009TC002597.
Chapman, A.D. and Saleeby, J.B., 2012, Geologic map of the San Emigdio Mountains, southern California, Geological Society of America Map and Chart Series MCH101, 1:40,000 scale.
Chapman, A., Saleeby, J., and Eiler, J., 2013, Slab flattening trigger for isotopic disturbance and magmatic flare-up in the southernmost Sierra Nevada batholith, California, Geology, doi:10.1130/G34445.1.
Clemens-Knott, D., van der Kolk, D.A., Sturmer, D.M., and Saleeby, J., 2013, The Goldstein Peak Formation, central California: Record of a nonmarine intra-arc basin within the Early Cretaceous arc: Geosphere, doi: 10.1130/GES00886.1.
Hall, C.A., and Saleeby, J.B., 2013, Salinia revisited: a crystalline nappe sequence lying above the Nacimiento fault and dispersed along the San Andreas fault system, California, International Geology Review, DOI:10.1080/00206814.2013.825141.
Ducea, M.N., Sleeby, J.B., and Bergantz, G., 2015, The architecture, chemistry, and evolution of continental magmatic arcs, Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 10.1146/annurev-earth-060614-105049.
Chapman, A.D., Wood, D.J., Saleeby, J.S., and Saleeby, Z., 2016, Late Cretaceous to Early Neogene tectonic development of the southern Sierra Nevada region, California. Geological Society of America Fieldtrip Guide 7, Cordilleran Section, Ontario California, 55 pp.
Nadin, E.S., Saleeby, J., and Wong, M., 2016, Thermal evolution of the Sierra Nevada batholith, California, and implications for strain localization, Geosphere, v. 12, n. 2, doi:10.1130/GES01224.1.
Saleeby, J., and Chapman, A., 2020, History of exhumation and related structural relief generation for the southernmost Sierra Nevada batholith, and tectonic forcing interpretations, Geological Society of America Abstract, Cordillera Section Meeting, Pasadena, California, T-8, 2-1.
Landscape Evolution of the Southern Sierra Nevada and Linked Subsidence History of the San Joaquin Basin:
Mahéo, G., J. Saleeby, Z. Saleeby, and K. A. Farley, 2009, Tectonic control on southern Sierra Nevada topography, California, Tectonics, 28, TC6006, doi:10.1029/2008TC002340.
Saleeby, J., Saleeby, Z., Nadin, E., and Maheo, G., 2009, Step over in the structure controlling the regional west tilt of the Sierra Nevada microplate: eastern escarpment to Kern Canyon system: in W.G. Ernst, Ed., Special Volume on the Nevada Plano, International Geology Review v. 51, n. 7-8, p. 634-669.
Saleeby, J., Saleeby, Z., and Le Pourhiet, L., 2013, Epeirogenic transients related to mantle lithosphere removal in the southern Sierra Nevada region, Part II: implications of rock uplift and basin subsidence relations, Geosphere, v. 9; no. 3; p. 1-32, doi:10.1130/GES00816.1.
Cecil, R., Saleeby, Z., Saleeby, J. and Farley, K., 2014, Pliocene-Quaternary subsidence and exhumation of the southeastern San Joaquin Basin, California, in response to mantle lithosphere removal, Geosphere, doi:10.1130/GES00882.1.
Saleeby, J., Saleeby, Z., Robbins, J., and Gillespie, J., 2015, Sediment Provenance and Dispersal of Neogene-Quaternary Strata of the Eastern San Joaquin Basin and its Transition into the Southern Sierra Nevada, California, Geosphere, doi:10.1130/GES01359.1.
Goebel, T.H.W., Hosselnl, S.M., Cappa, F.,, Hauksson, E., Ampuero, J.P., Aminzadeh, and Saleeby, J.B., 2016, Wastewater disposal and earthquake swarm activity at the southern end of the Central Valley, Califronia, Geophysical Research Letters, 43, doi:10.1002/2015GL066948.
Sousa, F.J., Farley, K.A., Saleeby, J., and Clark, M.K., 2016, Eocene activity on the western Sierra fault system and its role incising Kings River Canyon, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2016.01.020.
Sousa, F.J., Saleeby, J., Farley, K.A., Unruh, J.R., and Lloyd, M.K., 2016, The southern Sierra Nevada pediment, central California, Geosphere, v. 13, n. 1, doi:10.1130/GES01389.1.
Saleeby, J., and Saleeby, Z., 2019, Late Cenozoic structure and tectonics of the southern Sierra Nevada- eastern San Joaquin Basin transition, California, Geosphere, https://doi.org/10.1130/GES02052.1.
Tectonic and Geodynamic Development of the SW U.S. Upper Mantle:
Luffi, P., Saleeby, J., Lee, C.T.A., and Ducea, M., 2009, Lithospheric mantle duplex beneath the central Mojave Desert revealed by xenoliths from Dish Hill, California: Journal of Geophysical Research., doi:10.1029/2008JB005906.
Liu, L., Gurnis, M., Seton, M., Saleeby, J., Muller, D., and Jackson, J., 2010, The role of oceanic plateau subduction in the Laramide orogeny, Nature Geoscience, doi:10.1038/NGEO829.
Saleeby, J., Le Pourhiet, L., Saleeby, Z., Gurnis, M., 2012, Epeirogenic transients related to mantle lithosphere removal in the southern Sierra Nevada region, Part I: implications of thermal-mechanical modeling, Geosphere, v. 8; no. 6; p. 1286–1309; doi:10.1130/GES00746.1.
Jones, C.H., and Saleeby, J.B., 2013, Introduction: geodynamics and consequences of lithospheric removal in the Sierra Nevada, California, Geoshpere, v. 9; no. 2; p. 188–190; doi:10.1130/GES00907.1.
Le Pourhiet, L., and Saleeby, J., 2013, Lithospheric convective instability could induce creep along the San Andreas fault, Geology, doi: 10.1130/G34244.1.
Sun, D., Gurnis, M., Saleeby, J., and Helmberger, D., 2017, A dipping, thick segment of the Farallon Slab beneath Central US, Journal of Geophysical Research, Solid Earth, doi:10.1002/2016JB013915.
Quinn, D. P., Saleeby, J. B., Ducea, M. N., Luffi, P., and Asimow, P. D., 2018, Late Cretaceous construction of the mantle lithosphere beneath the central California coast revealed by Crystal Knob xenoliths. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, v. 19, p. 3302–3346.
Chapman, A.D., Rautela. O., Shields, J., Ducea, M.N., and Saleeby, J., 2019, Fate of the lower lithosphere during shallow-angle subduction: the Laramide example, GSA Today, https://doi.org/10.1130/GSATG412A.1.
Saleeby, J., 2019, Structural and kinematic relationships suggesting a genetic linkage between the Monterey plate and the Transverse Ranges upper mantle high seismic wave speed anomaly, southern California, Geological Society of America Abstract, Cordillera Section Meeting, Portland Oregon, T1, 2-1.