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Dissolution precipitation creep as a process for the strain localisation in mafic rocks

Amicia Lee 1, * Holger Stünitz 1, 2, 3 Mathieu Soret 2, 3 Matheus Battisti 4
* Corresponding author
3 Géodynamique - UMR7327
ISTO - Institut des Sciences de la Terre d'Orléans - UMR7327 : UMR7327, BRGM - Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM), UO - Université d'Orléans : UMR7327, INSU - CNRS - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers
Abstract : The lower crust is, on average, mafic in composition and composed of minerals that remain mechanically strong up to high temperatures. Here we show that dissolution-precipitation creep (as a type of diffusion creep) plays a major role in deformation of gabbro bodies at upper amphibolite facies conditions. The Kågen gabbro, N. Norway, is comprised of undeformed gabbro lenses enclosed by mylonitised margins that deformed at 690 ± 25 °C and 1.0–1.1 GPa. The evolution of the microstructures and fabric of the low strain gabbro to high strain margins were investigated. Original clinopyroxene and plagioclase dissolved during mineral reactions and precipitated as new minerals phases: new plagioclase and clinopyroxene (different compositions relative to the magmatic parents) and additional amphibole and garnet. Microstructural and crystallographic preferred orientation (CPO) data indicate that dissolution-precipitation creep is the dominant deformation mechanism. Amphibole shows a strong CPO that is primarily controlled by orientated growth in the stretching direction. The progression of mineral reactions and weakening is directly connected to a fluid-assisted transformation process that facilitates diffusion creep deformation of strong minerals at far lower stresses and temperatures than required by dislocation creep. Initially strong lithologies can become weak, provided that reactions proceed during deformation.
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Amicia Lee, Holger Stünitz, Mathieu Soret, Matheus Battisti. Dissolution precipitation creep as a process for the strain localisation in mafic rocks. Journal of Structural Geology, Elsevier, 2022, Accepted, pp.104505. ⟨10.1016/j.jsg.2021.104505⟩. ⟨insu-03513841⟩

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