Crustal Spreading in Southern California

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Science  06 Oct 1972:
Vol. 178, Issue 4056, pp. 15-24
DOI: 10.1126/science.178.4056.15


The current excitement among geologists and geophysicists stemming from the "new global tectonics" has led to a widespread, speculative reinterpretation of continental geology. The Gulf of California and its continuation into the Imperial Valley provide an excellent opportunity for studying the border zone between the North American and Pacific plates, and an interface of continental and oceanic tectonics. The Salton trough, the landward extension of the gulf, is a broad structural depression, comparable in size with the deeper marine basins of the southern part of the gulf, but here partially filled with sediments deposited by the Colorado River.