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The role of pressure solution creep in the ductility of the earth's upper crust

Abstract : The aim of this review is to characterize the role of pressure solution creep in the ductility of the Earth's upper crust and to describe how this creep mechanism competes and interacts with other deformation mechanisms. Pressure solution creep is a major mechanism of ductile deformation of the upper crust, accommodating basin compaction, folding, shear zone development, and fault creep and interseismic healing. However, its kinetics is strongly dependent on the composition of the rocks (mainly the presence of phyllosilicates minerals that activate pressure solution) and on its interaction with fracturing and healing processes (that activate and slow down pressure solution, respectively). The present review combines three approaches: natural observations, theoretical developments, and laboratory experiments. Natural observations can be used to identify the pressure solution markers necessary to evaluate creep law parameters, such as the nature of the material, the temperature and stress conditions or the geometry of mass transfer domains. Theoretical developments help to investigate the thermodynamics and kinetics of the processes and to build theoretical creep laws. Laboratory experiments are implemented in order to test the models and to measure creep law parameters such as driving forces and kinetic coefficients. Finally, applications are discussed for the modelling of sedimentary basin compaction and fault creep. The sensitivity of the models to time is given particular attention: viscous versus plastic rheology during sediment compaction; steady state versus non-steady state behaviour of fault and shear zones. The conclusions discuss recent advances for modelling pressure solution creep and the main questions that remain to be solved.
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Contributor : Jean-Pierre Gratier <>
Submitted on : Monday, March 11, 2013 - 4:19:25 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, December 8, 2020 - 10:44:05 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Sunday, April 2, 2017 - 11:07:16 AM


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Jean-Pierre Gratier, Dag Dysthe, Francois Renard. The role of pressure solution creep in the ductility of the earth's upper crust. Advances in Geophysics, Elsevier, 2013, 54, pp.47-179. ⟨10.1016/B978-0-12-380940-7.00002-0⟩. ⟨insu-00799131⟩



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