Experimental investigation of the brittle-viscous transition in mafic rocks – Interplay between fracturing, reaction, and viscous deformation

Sina Marti 1 Holger Stünitz 2, 3, 4 Renée Heilbronner 1 Oliver Plumper 5 Martyn Drury 5
4 Géodynamique - UMR7327
BRGM - Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM), ISTO - Institut des Sciences de la Terre d'Orléans - UMR7327 : UMR7327, INSU - CNRS - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers , UO - Université d'Orléans : UMR7327
Abstract : Rock deformation experiments are performed on fault gouge fabricated from ‘Maryland Diabase’ rock powder to investigate the transition from dominant brittle to dominant viscous behaviour. At the imposed strain rates of View the MathML sourceγ˙=3·10−5−3·10−6 s−1, the transition is observed in the temperature range of (600 °C < T < 800 °C) at confining pressures of (0.5 GPa ≤ Pc ≤ 1.5 GPa). The transition thereby takes place by a switch from brittle fracturing and cataclastic flow to viscous dissolution-precipitation creep and grain boundary sliding. Mineral reactions and resulting grain size refinement by nucleation are observed to be critical processes for the switch to viscous deformation, i.e., grain size sensitive creep. In the transitional regime, the mechanical response of the sample is a mixed-mode between brittle and viscous rheology and microstructures associated with both brittle and viscous deformation are observed. As grain size reduction by reaction and nucleation is a time dependent process, the brittle-viscous transition is not only a function of T but to a large extent also of microstructural evolution.
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Submitted on : Friday, November 17, 2017 - 9:05:15 AM
Last modification on : Friday, May 10, 2019 - 1:54:18 PM

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Sina Marti, Holger Stünitz, Renée Heilbronner, Oliver Plumper, Martyn Drury. Experimental investigation of the brittle-viscous transition in mafic rocks – Interplay between fracturing, reaction, and viscous deformation. Journal of Structural Geology, Elsevier, 2017, 105, pp.62 - 79. ⟨10.1016/j.jsg.2017.10.011⟩. ⟨insu-01636815⟩

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