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Our first stop was at the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley where Doug Yule gave an overview of what we were going to see on the field trip. Then he talked about the features that were nearby; the Edmonston pumping plant, the Wheeler Ridge blind thrust, the surface expression of the White Wolf fault, and the Pleito thrust.
At Pastoria Creek we found large garnets in quartzofeldspathic gneiss. These high pressure rocks of the Tehachapi complex were rapidly uplifted and exhumed during the Late Cretaceous and Early Tertiary as a result of flat slab subduction and underplating of the Rand Schist assemblage.
Near Tejon Canyon Doug Yule described features of the proto-Kern Canyon fault and the Kern Canyon fault. He also spoke about some of the events of the 1952 Arvin-Tehachapi earthquake.
At our lunch stop at Arvin park Doug Yule briefed us about the next leg of the trip. After lunch we drove along the White Wolf fault at the base of Bear Mountain and near Bealville where we looked for the tunnels that were damaged in the 1952 quake. Next we followed the Caliente Bodfish road north along the Breckenridge fault through Walker Basin. And finally we traveled along the trace of the Kern Canyon fault past Lake Isabella to Kernville.
At Kernville most of the group went for a "raft" trip down the Kern river. After that we set up camp along the river a few miles north of Kernville.
Our morning "chalk talk" was a summary of the previous day's adventure. Doug Yule then described some of the plastic deformation features that we would see at our first stop along the proto-Kern Canyon fault.
In Corral Canyon we looked at mylonites in the proto-Kern Canyon shear zone. Doug Yule gave a lesson on S-C fabric recognition and shear sense. The Kern Canyon fault is also present at this location. It has a noticible scarp (up to the west) and separates the shear zone on the east from the Kern Canyon sequence of metasediments on the west.
We left the Kern River via the Sherman Pass road, crossed the Kern Canyon fault, and climbed to over 9,000 feet for our next stop. Starting here and for the remainder of the trip we followed the field guide prepared by Dr. George Dunne CSUN emeritus professor who has spent the last twenty plus years researching the pendants in this region. At this stop we examined what George calls the "uncommon conglomerate".
We stopped at the Sherman Pass overlook to examined the Alaskite of Sherman Pass, took in the vistas of the Kern Plateau, Bald Moutain lookout, and the Sierra Crest, including Mt. Whitney.
One of the pieces of evidence that links the pendants on the Kern Plateau to deep water Paleozoic rocks of the Roberts Mountain allocthon in Nevada are strataform barite deposits. Our first stop in the Bald Mountain pendant was at a barite quarry where we examined and collected some of this dense material.
The three largest pendants on the Kern Plateau are bounded on the southwest by discontinuous shear zones of ductile deformation. These shear zones may be responsible, at least in part, for the southward movement of these pendants from the equivalent rocks in western Nevada. At this location the Bald Mountain pendant is intruded by the 210 to 220 Ma Dark Canyon gneiss that shows evidence of both left- and right-lateral movement.
Dave Liggett cites George Dunne's evidence that suggests an affinity of the Kern Plateau pendants to deep water Paleozoic age rocks in western Nevada and in the El Paso mountains. This was the last stop of day two. We camped at Troy Meadows Campground.
The next morning Doug Yule, Dick Heermance, Whitney Behr, and Dave Liggett took turns describing various aspects of the Sierra Nevada batholith.
On Bald Mountain we looked at the thin-bedded, fine-grained, siliclastic strata that comprise the most common rocks in the Kern plateau pendants. Protoliths of these rocks include shales, mudstones, and quartz-rich silts and sands.
With George Dunne as her advisor Whitney Behr did her senior thesis on this shear zone on the northeast side of the Kennedy pendant. Here Whitney describes some of the important findings of her investigation.
Just before reaching highway 395 we made our last stop to look at the Coso volcanic field. The Coso volcanics which erupted from 3.6 Ma to 40 ka rest on Sierran granitoids of Jurassic age.