San Joaquin Geological Society Bakersfield California
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The San Joaquin Geological Society has no formal dues, and our activities are open to anyone interested in geology.

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Current Abstract


Fold and Thrust Belt Structural Style of the Southern Coast Ranges and Western Transverse Ranges, California


Jay Namson

Namson Consulting Inc., San Clemente, CA



A series of regional retrodeformable cross sections have been constructed across the southern Coast Ranges and western Transverse Ranges that illustrate the fold and thrust belt structural style across the region.  The cross sections are constrained by surface geology, oil and gas well data, seismic reflection lines and earthquake data.  The interpretations were constructed using structural modeling techniques that relate the fold geometry to deeper fault geometry.  My discussion will focus on the development of the structural models and how they differ from the previously accepted model of wrench tectonics that had been commonly applied to the region over the last 50 years.  The structural models have implications for the tectonic evolution of the region, hydrocarbon trap development, oil and gas exploration, and earthquake risk analysis.  Many of the hydrocarbon-producing basins of southern and central California are included in the cross sections.  The actively developing fold and thrust belt suggests that the strain associated with the transpressive motion between the Pacific and North American plates is being resolved and partitioned into two components: folding and thrust faulting perpendicular to the San Andreas fault plate boundary and strike-slip faulting parallel and within the San Andreas fault plate boundary.



Jay Namson received his BS degree from Humboldt State University and his Masters and PHD degrees from Princeton University.  He worked in the Structure and Tectonics Group at ARCO Research from 1982-88.  Jay formed a partnership with Thom Davis in 1988 and they worked together in Davis and Namson for over 20 years.  For the last six years Jay has had his own consulting company Namson Consulting Inc.  Over his career he has focused on the geology of structurally complex areas to assist oil and gas exploration and production in many parts of Asia, South America and North America.



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3The San Joaquin Geological Society gladly accepts your donations. In 2011, the Society awarded nearly $8000 to educational institutions and organizations.

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