Analogue and numerical modeling of shape fabrics: application to strain and flow determination in magmas

Abstract : We summarise numerical and analogue models of shape fabrics, and discuss their applicability to the shape preferred orientation of crystals in magmas. Analyses of flow direction and finite strain recorded during the emplacement of partially crystallised magmas often employ the analytical and numerical solutions of the Jeffery's model, which describe the movement of non-interacting ellipsoidal particles immersed in a Newtonian fluid. Crystallising magmas however are considered as dynamic fluid systems in which particles nucleate and grow. Crystallisation during magma deformation leads to mechanical interactions between crystals whose shape distribution is not necessarily homogeneous and constant during emplacement deformation. Experiments carried out in both monoparticle and multiparticle systems show that shape fabrics begin to develop early in the deformation history and evolve according to the theoretical models for low-strain regimes. At large strains and increasing crystal content, the heterogeneous size distribution of natural crystals and contact interactions tend to generate steady-state fabrics with a lineation closely parallel to the direction of the magmatic flow. This effect has been observed in all 3D experiments with particles of similar size and for strain regimes of high vorticity. On the other hand, studies of feldspar megacrysts sub-fabrics in porphyritic granites suggest that these ones record a significant part of the strain history. Thus, fabric ellipsoid for megacrysts evolves closer to the strain ellipsoid than for smaller markers. This behaviour results from the fact that the matrix forms of the melt and smaller crystals behave like a continuous medium relative to the megacrysts. Consequently, in absence these markers, and because the fabric intensities of smaller particles such as biotite are stable and lower than predicted by the theory, finite strain remains indeterminate. In that case, strain quantification and geometry of the flow requires the addition of external constrains based on other structural approaches.
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Contributor : Nathalie Pothier <>
Submitted on : Monday, November 20, 2006 - 4:53:15 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 10, 2019 - 5:06:42 PM

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Laurent Arbaret, Arnaud Fernandez, J. Jezek, B. Ildefonse, Patrick Launeau, et al.. Analogue and numerical modeling of shape fabrics: application to strain and flow determination in magmas. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: Earth Sciences, 2000, 90, pp.97-109. ⟨10.1130/0-8137-2350-7.97⟩. ⟨hal-00115239⟩

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