Quantifying Thinning and Extrusion Associated with an Oblique Subduction Zone: an example from the Rosy Finch Shear Zone

Forest Fortescue, North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board
Andrew Canada, University of Idaho
Matty Mookerjee, Sonoma State University

The Rosy Finch Shear Zone (RFSZ) is a NNW trending transpressional zone along the eastern margin of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, and the southernmost shear zone within the Sierra Crest Shear Zone. Dextral shear, resulting from oblique subduction along the western margin of the North American Plate (ca. 90 Ma), combined with subduction zone orthogonal shortening is concentrated within the RFSZ. Highly deformed metasedimentary and metavolcanic rocks within the zone have a prominent foliation with a mean dip, dip direction of 79°, 236° and a steeply plunging, penetrative, stretching lineation with a trend, plunge of 178°, 73°. Here, we present both three-dimensional strain analysis and crystallographic texture data in order to determine the mean kinematic vorticity number (Wm) and the relative amounts of pure and simple shear within the RFSZ. These two independent methods, using data collected from samples along two E-W transects, both indicate that there is a significant component of pure shear within the zone, with a mean of approximately 75% pure shear. Using the vorticity data, we calculated the amount of across-the-zone thinning. Samples collected from the 0.65 km zone of interest have yielded a mean shortening of nearly 20.3%, or approximately 166 m. In addition, three-dimensional strain analysis yields a mean Lode's ratio of 0.202, and a mean Flinn's k-value of 0.585, indicate a general flattening deformation, and a mean octahedral shear strain (s) of 0.407. Assuming no volume change, these data suggests that there was approximately 174 m of vertical extrusion within this segment of the RFSZ in response to this obliquely convergent plate margin.


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