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Calculations of the tectonic component of the subsidence history of California's southern San Joaquin basin indicate 200-400 m of abrupt tectonic uplift during the Relizian, about 15 Ma. This uplift can be explained as an isostatic response to the movement of thin, young lithosphere south of the subducted Mendocino fracture zone to a position under the basin. The calculated uplift cannot be a result of extension and subsidence caused by instability of the Mendocino triple junction, but earlier (early Miocene) subsidence of the basin may have resulted from triple-junction-related extension. Marine strata deposited in the San Joaquin basin during the middle Miocene are rich sources of petroleum, so the inferred uplift and facies shifts may have important implications for ex loration.
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