In rocks deformed by natural orogenic processes it is usual to find that the finite strain state varies from locality to locality. In some deformed rocks high strain states are localized within approximately planar zones commonly known as "shear belts".The general relationships that exist between variable displacement and variable strain state are established, and these general equations are solved for particular types of strain within shear zones. Only a limited number of types of solution are possible. Using these solutions the geometric forms of the structures found in shear zones in several regions are analyzed. Methods for computing the finite strain through these zones are described, and these finite strains are integrated to determine the total displacements across these zones. Schistosity is developed in some of the shear zones described. It is not parallel to the walls of the shear zone and is therefore not parallel to the dominant displacement (shear) directions. The schistosity appears to be formed perpendicular to the principal finite shortening (i.e. perpendicular to the shortest axis of the finite strain ellipsoid). Variations of the schistosity planes represent variations in the finite strain trajectories of XY planes in the strain states ( ellipsoid axes). The intensity of development of the schistosity is correlated with the values of the principal finite strains.