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GREAT VALLEY SEQUENCE [c3, p64]

The Great Valley sequence consists of interbedded marine mudstone, sandstone, and conglomerate that range from Late Jurassic to Cretaceous in age (Bailey and others, 1964). It crops out as thick, monotonously bedded sections of strata that generally are markedly less deformed and more coherent than sedimentary sections of the Franciscan and also have greater lateral continuity. Where most fully developed, such as along the west side of the northern Great Valley, the aggregate stratigraphic thickness of Great Valley sequence is at least 12 km. The strata normally lie depositionally on Coast Range ophiolite except where disrupted by faults, but at the north end and along the east side of the Great Valley they onlap the Nevadan and older basement terranes of the Klamath Mountains and Sierra Nevada. This enormous thickness of clastic detrital material probably represents submarine fans and turbidity deposits that formed as a result of rapid erosion of the ancestral Klamath Mountains and Sierra Nevada.