Sunday, December 30, 2012

New papers examine core complexes

Arizona has been ground zero for describing the nature and origin of metamorphic core complexes. [Right, diagram of the Santa Catalina core complex.  Credit, Jon Spencer, AZGS]  Now, there are two new papers in the latest issue of the GSA Bulletin that add to our understanding of these features.

"Continental and oceanic core complexes," by Donna L. Whitney, Christian Teyssier,  Patrice Rey, and W. Roger Buck offers "a survey of ∼40 yr of core-complex literature, discuss processes and questions relevant to the formation and evolution of core complexes in continental and oceanic settings, highlight the significance of core complexes for lithosphere dynamics, and propose a few possible directions for future research."

The second paper, "Development of extension-parallel corrugations in the Buckskin-Rawhide metamorphic core complex, west-central Arizona," by John S. Singleton, concludes that "Structural data from the Buckskin-Rawhide metamorphic core complex in west-central Arizona demonstrate that prominent NE-trending detachment fault corrugations are folds produced by extension-perpendicular (NW-SE) shortening during the middle to late stages of core complex extension (ca. 18–10 Ma)."


  1. I am an Egyptian geologist and I am concerned with studying the core complexes in the Arabian Nubian Shield especially, in the Eastern Desert of Egypt. Unfortunately,the paper,(Oceanic and continental core complexes) is not available for me. I will be very grateful to you if you send me a (pdf) copy. My e-mail:

  2. Our Chief Geologist, Jon Spencer, sent you a copy of his paper and provided contact information for John Singleton to obtain that paper.