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Cracking induced by dislocation creep in pure quartz shear bands of granitoids

Abstract : The production of micro-pores during viscous creep is a driving mechanism for fluid circulation in deep environments. However, strain-induced cracking in nature is nowadays attributed to grain boundary sliding (GBS), restricting this process to fine-grained ductile shear zones where rocks deform by diffusion creep. Here we give natural evidence of micro-cracking induced by dislocation creep, which is by far the dominant deformation mechanism in lithospheric rocks. Focusing on pure quartz shear bands across the Naxos western granite (Aegean Sea, Greece), we first document sub-micron pores that arise at grain and sub-grain boundaries. Their shape and location emphasize sub-grain rotation as a source of cracking. We then confirm that quartz is dominated by dislocation creep with evidence of a moderate to strong lattice preferred orientation (LPO) and many sub-grain boundaries, including at the margin of the pluton where the brittle/ductile transition was reached. These features coincide with (1) quartz grains located as inclusion into quartz porphyroclasts and (2) a dependency of the LPO strength on grain size. Our findings suggest that creeping cavities act as pumping sites for fluid to penetrate the crystal lattice and nucleate randomly oriented grains along sub-grain boundaries, accounting for (1) shear localization by enhancing hydrolytic weakening and (2) rock embrittlement through growth and interlinkage of cavities where phase nucleation is limited.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-03810468
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Submitted on : Tuesday, October 11, 2022 - 2:12:13 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, November 22, 2022 - 2:26:16 PM

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Jacques Précigout, Estelle Ledoux, Laurent Arbaret. Cracking induced by dislocation creep in pure quartz shear bands of granitoids. EGU22, May 2022, Online, Austria. ⟨10.5194/egusphere-egu22-2816⟩. ⟨insu-03810468⟩

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