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Thermal perturbation, mineral assemblages, and rheology variations induced by dyke emplacement in the crust

Abstract : We constructed a thermomechanical model to examine the changes in rheology caused by the periodic intrusion of basaltic dykes in a two-layered continental crust. Dyke intrusion can locally change the mineralogical composition of the crust in space and time as a result of temperature-induced metamorphism. In our models we paid particular attention to determine how different mineral assemblages and reaction kinetics during metamorphism impact on the thermomechanical behavior of the crust, in terms of differential stress values. We investigated several lithologies characteristic for intracontinental crust: (1) a quartz-feldspathic crust (QF), (2) a crust with a mineralogical assemblage resembling the average chemical composition occurring in literature (CC), and (3) a micaschist crust (MS). Our model shows that temperature profiles are weakly influenced by metamorphism, with negligible variations in the T-t paths. The results indicate that intrusion-induced changes in the crustal rheology are strongly dependent on mineralogical assemblage variation. The strength of a dyke aureole in the upper crust increases during dyke emplacement, which may cause migration of later dykes and influence the dyke spacing. In contrast, in the lower crust the strength of a dyke aureole decreases during dyke emplacement. Fast kinetics results in a ductile lower crust in proximity of the dykes, whereas slower kinetics leads to the formation of partial melts and subsequent switch from ductile to brittle behavior. Lithology exerts a dominant role on the quantity of melt produced, with higher volume percentages occurring in the MS case study. Produced melts may migrate and support acidic volcanic activity.
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Alessio Lavecchia, Stuart R. Clark, Fred Beekman, Sierd A. P. L. Cloetingh, Evgueni Burov. Thermal perturbation, mineral assemblages, and rheology variations induced by dyke emplacement in the crust. Tectonics, American Geophysical Union (AGU), 2016, 35, pp.1137-1152. ⟨10.1002/2016TC004125⟩. ⟨insu-03596375⟩

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