Smartville Block

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The Smartville Block, also called the Smartville Complex or Smartville Intrusive Complex, is a geologic formation in central California. It extends from the foothills of the central Sierra Nevada (mountain range), due west, under a section of the Central Valley and California Coast Ranges, in northern California.


Its eastern margin is the Rescue Lineament-Bear Mountains fault zone, and generally defines the gold-bearing veins range of the California Mother Lode region, important in the history of the California Gold Rush. It is named for the small Gold Rush town of Smartsville in Yuba County.


The Smartville Block is a geologic terrane in plate tectonics, a piece of crust, probably an island arc, which accreted to the North American Plate and continent in the Jurassic Period, about 165 million years ago. The collision created sufficient crustal heating to drive mineral-laden water up through numerous fissures along the contact zone. When these cooled, among the precipitating minerals was gold.

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