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Relationship between microstructures and resistance in mafic assemblages that deform and transform

Nicolas Mansard 1, 2 Holger Stünitz 1, 3, 2 Hugues Raimbourg 1, 2 Jacques Précigout 1, 2 Alexis Plunder 4 Lucille Nègre 1, 2
2 Géodynamique - UMR7327
INSU - CNRS - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers, UO - Université d'Orléans : UMR7327, BRGM - Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM), ISTO - Institut des Sciences de la Terre d'Orléans - UMR7327 : UMR7327
Résumé : Abstract. Syn-kinematic mineral reactions play an important role for the mechanical properties of polymineralic rocks. Mineral reactions (i.e. nucleation of new phases) may lead to grain size reduction producing fine-grained polymineralic mixtures, which have a strongly reduced viscosity because of the activation of grain-size sensitive deformation processes. In order to study the effect of deformation-reaction feedback(s) on sample strength, we performed rock deformation experiments on wet assemblages of mafic compositions in a Griggs-type solid-medium deformation apparatus. Shear strain was applied at constant strain rate (10−5 s−1) and constant confining pressure (1 GPa) with temperatures ranging from 800 to 900 °C. At low shear strain, the assemblages that react faster are significantly weaker than the ones that react more slowly, demonstrating that reaction progress has a first-order control on rock strength. With increasing strain, we document two contrasting microstructural scenarios: (1) the development of a single through-going high-strain-zone of well-mixed, fine-grained aggregates, associated with a significant weakening after peak stress and (2) the development of partially connected, nearly monomineralic shear bands without major weakening. The lack of weakening is caused by the absence of interconnected well-mixed aggregates of fine-grained reaction products. The nature of the reaction products, and hence the intensity of the mechanical weakening, is controlled by the microstructures of the reaction products to a large extent, e.g., the amount of amphibole and the phase distribution of reaction products. The samples with the largest amount of amphibole exhibit a larger grain size and show less weakening. In addition to their implications for the deformation of natural shear zones, our findings demonstrate that the feedback between deformation and mineral reactions can lead to large differences in mechanical strength, even at relatively small initial differences in mineral composition.
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Contributor : Nathalie Pothier <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - 11:10:42 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 23, 2020 - 4:39:45 AM


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Nicolas Mansard, Holger Stünitz, Hugues Raimbourg, Jacques Précigout, Alexis Plunder, et al.. Relationship between microstructures and resistance in mafic assemblages that deform and transform. 2020. ⟨insu-02869683⟩



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