Southern parts of the Foothills terrane, Sierra Nevada, California, consist of western and eastern sequences of volcanic rocks and overlying slate-gray wacke units separated by a multiply deformed and lithologically chaotic central belt. Structural and strain studies suggest that the intensity of regional ductile deformation decreased from greater than 50% shortening in the western belt to less than 30% shortening in the eastern belt and that much of this ductile deformation is younger than the timing usually assumed for the Nevadan orogeny. These structures are in turn deformed by a large ductile shear zone representing the southern continuation of the Bear Mountains fault zone. This shear zone separates the western and central belts, has an oblique east-over-west sense of movement, and deforms the western margin of the Guadalupe igneous complex. These observations suggest that the eastern and western volcanic sequences are pieces of arcs amalgamated along the Bear Mountains fault zone during and after Nevadan deformation.