▪ Abstract 

The migration of the Mendocino triple junction through central and northern California over the past 25–30 million years has led to a profound change in plate interactions along coastal California. The tectonic consequences of the abrupt change from subduction plate interactions north of the triple junction to the development of the San Andreas transform system south of the triple junction can be seen in the geologic record and geophysical observations. The primary driver of this tectonism is a coupling among the subducting Juan de Fuca (Gorda), North American, and Pacific plates that migrates with the triple junction. This coupling leads to ephemeral thickening of the overlying North American crust, associated uplift and subsequent subsidence, and a distinctive sequence of fault development and volcanism.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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