Oroclinal Bending of the Southern Sierra Nevada Batholith

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Science  11 Oct 1985:
Vol. 230, Issue 4722, pp. 172-175
DOI: 10.1126/science.230.4722.172


Structural, magmatic, and isotopic features of the southern Sierra Nevada batholith are deflected clockwise with respect to its central and northern parts. Directions of magnetization at three localities in the southern Sierra Nevada are progressively deflected; this is consistent with the hypothesis that the region was tectonically rotated in an orocline. No paleomagnetic deflection was observed northwest of the White Wolf-Kern Canyon fault system. Oroclinal bending ofa block bounded by the San Andreas, Garlock, and White Wolf-Kern Canyon faults may have occurred before about 16 x l06 years ago. The deformation may have been a response to shear at the western boundary of the North American plate caused by oblique subduction.