Paleomagnetic constraints on rotation within Mount Abbot quadrangle, central Sierra Nevada, California

Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth



The regional photolineament pattern in Mount Abbot quadrangle in the central Sierra Nevada is sigmoidal in plan view. The fractures in the southwest section of the quadrangle, near Florence Lake, strike N10°–20°E, while those in the central section, along Bear Creek, strike N50°–70°E and those in the northeast strike N25°–40°E. A paleomagnetic investigation was undertaken to determine if this sigmoidal pattern was formed by kinking of originally straight photolineaments after the rock mass cooled below the blocking temperature. If the inner limb of the kink rotated 40°–60° clockwise with respect to the outer limbs, then there should be a similar difference in the paleomagnetic declinations between the Florence Lake and Bear Creek areas. The paleomagnetic results indicate a clockwise difference in declination of 13.4°±7° of the Bear Creek area with respect to Florence Lake. Thus the sigmoidal pattern could not have formed entirely by rotation after cooling below the blocking temperature. It is also possible that the observed declination discrepancy is due to tilting, apparent polar wander, or paleomagnetic dispersion instead of rotation. Sigmoidal patterns, formed by kink folding, occur on the outcrop scale with inner limb rotations of 15°–30°; three of these kinks were sampled to test the paleomagnetic method in an area of demonstrable rotation. The data from these sites indicate that although no difference in declination is evident, a reheating event may have occurred which could have removed any rotation from the paleomagnetic record. Reheating, possibly due to the circulation of hydrothermal fluids, may have been causally related to the outcrop scale kinking, since reheating is not observed away from the outcrop scale kinks. The data further indicate that there may have been continuous deformation of the rock mass during the formation of the kinks.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Paleomagnetic constraints on rotation within Mount Abbot quadrangle, central Sierra Nevada, California
Series title Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth
DOI 10.1029/JB093iB10p11711
Volume 93
Issue B10
Year Published 1988
Language English
Publisher Wiley
First page 11711
Last page 11720
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