Franciscan Assemblage

Franciscan Assemblage

Franciscan Assemblage

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The Franciscan Assemblage is a geological term for an accreted terrane of heterogeneous rock found on and near the San Francisco Peninsula. It was named by geologist Andrew Lawson who also named the San Andreas Fault which bounds the Franciscan Assemblage.

Also known as the "Franciscan Formation," "Franciscan Series," "Franciscan Group," "Franciscan assemblage," or "Franciscan Complex," it includes altered mafic volcanic rocks (greenstones), deep-sea radiolarian cherts, greywacke sandstones, limestones, serpentinites, shales, and high-pressure metamorphic rocks, all of them faulted and mixed in a seemingly chaotic manner.

It forms the major component of the Pacific Coast Ranges of California.

Wentworth and others interpreted the juxtaposition of the Franciscan Assemblage and the section consisting of the Coast Range ophiolite and the Great Valley sequence to have happened through landward movement of the Franciscan Assemblage as a tectonic wedge.


Line notes


  • Hilton, Richard P. 2003. Dinosaurs and Other Mesozoic Reptiles of California. Berkeley: University of California Press. 318 pp.
  • Hogan, C. M. 2008 Morro Creek, ed. by A. Burnham
  • Wentworth, C. M., Blake, M. C. Jr., Jones, D. L., Walter, A. W., and Zoback, M. D. 1984. Tectonic wedging associated with emplacement of the Franciscan assemblage, California Coast Ranges. In Blake, M.C., ed., Franciscan......
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