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Conference Papers Year : 2023

Garnet microstructures suggest ultra-fast decompression of ultrahigh-pressure rocks


Radial microcracks surrounding retrogressed SiO2 inclusions in UHP garnets are key microstructural observations allowing to constrain the mechanisms of exhumation of ultra-high-pressure (UHP) rocks. The major challenge lies in identifying whether the microstructures formed during their ascent from mantle depths, or as a consequence of transient variations in the tectonic regime. By combining petrographic observations, petrochronological data and numerical thermo-mechanical modelling, we show that radial cracks around SiO2 inclusions in ultrahigh-pressure garnets from Dora Maira are caused by ultrafast decompression during the early stage of exhumation (< 0.5 Ma). Decompression rates higher than 10-14 s-1 are, for the first time, inferred from natural microstructures independently of current petrochronological estimates1. We demonstrate that the SiO2 phase transition generates shear stresses sufficiently large to trigger plastic yielding, resulting in the generation and propagation of radial and bent shear bands, mimicking the fractures observed in UHP garnet. Our results question the traditional interpretation of the exhumation from great depth of ultrahigh-pressure tectonic. Instead, we propose that such ultrafast decompression rates are related to transient changes in the stress state of the buried continental lithosphere, favoring an exhumation mechanism involving nappe stacking.
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insu-04087402 , version 1 (03-05-2023)


Attribution - CC BY 4.0



Thibault Duretz, Cindy Luisier, Lucie Tajčmanová, Philippe Yamato. Garnet microstructures suggest ultra-fast decompression of ultrahigh-pressure rocks. EGU General Assembly 2023, European Geosciences Union, Apr 2023, Vienna, Austria. pp.EGU23-17302, ⟨10.5194/egusphere-egu23-17302⟩. ⟨insu-04087402⟩
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