Articles | Volume 10, issue 3
Research article 13 May 2019
Research article | 13 May 2019
Experimental grain growth of quartz aggregates under wet conditions and its application to deformation in nature
Junichi Fukuda et al.
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Vincent Famin, Hugues Raimbourg, Muriel Andreani, and Anne-Marie Boullier
Solid Earth, 12, 2067–2085,Short summary
Sediments accumulated in accretionary prisms are deformed by the compression imposed by plate subduction. Here we show that deformation of the sediments transforms some minerals in them. We suggest that these mineral transformations are due to the proliferation of microorganisms boosted by deformation. Deformation-enhanced microbial proliferation may change our view of sedimentary and tectonic processes in subduction zones.
Nicolas Mansard, Holger Stünitz, Hugues Raimbourg, Jacques Précigout, Alexis Plunder, and Lucille Nègre
Solid Earth, 11, 2141–2167,Short summary
Our rock deformation experiments (solid-medium Griggs-type apparatus) on wet assemblages of mafic compositions show that the ability of minerals to react controls the portions of rocks that deform and that minor chemical and mineralogical variations can considerably modify the strength of deformed assemblages. Our study suggests that the rheology of mafic rocks, which constitute a large part of the oceanic crust, cannot be summarized as being rheologically controlled by monophase materials.
Carly Faber, Holger Stünitz, Deta Gasser, Petr Jeřábek, Katrin Kraus, Fernando Corfu, Erling K. Ravna, and Jiří Konopásek
Solid Earth, 10, 117–148,Short summary
The Caledonian mountains formed when Baltica and Laurentia collided around 450–400 million years ago. This work describes the history of the rocks and the dynamics of that continental collision through space and time using field mapping, estimated pressures and temperatures, and age dating on rocks from northern Norway. The rocks preserve continental collision between 440–430 million years ago, and an unusual pressure–temperature evolution suggests unusual tectonic activity prior to collision.
Sina Marti, Holger Stünitz, Renée Heilbronner, Oliver Plümper, and Rüdiger Kilian
Solid Earth, 9, 985–1009,Short summary
Using rock deformation experiments we study how rocks deform at mid-crustal levels within mountain belts and along plate boundaries. For the studied material, fluid-assisted mass transport and grain sliding are the dominant deformation mechanisms when small amounts of water are present. Our results provide new data on the mechanical response of the earth's crust, and the wide range of presented microstructures will help to correlate observations from experiments and nature.
Related subject area
Subject area: Crustal structure and composition | Editorial team: Structural geology and tectonics, rock physics, experimental deformation | Discipline: Structural geologyMapping and evaluating kinematics and the stress and strain field at active faults and fissures: a comparison between field and drone data at the NE rift, Mt Etna (Italy)
Alessandro Tibaldi, Noemi Corti, Emanuela De Beni, Fabio Luca Bonali, Susanna Falsaperla, Horst Langer, Marco Neri, Massimo Cantarero, Danilo Reitano, and Luca Fallati
Solid Earth, 12, 801–816,Short summary
The Northeast Rift of Mt Etna is affected by ground deformation linked to gravity sliding of the volcano flank and dike injection. Drone surveys show that the rift is affected by NE-striking extensional fractures and normal faults. Given an age of 1614 CE for the offset lavas, we obtained an extension rate of 1.9 cm yr−1 for the last 406 years. The stress field is characterised by a NW–SE σHmin. Drone surveys allow us to quickly collect data with a resolution of 2–3 cm.
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Grain size is a key factor for deformation. Quartz is one of the main constituents of the crust, but little is known about grain growth that can change grain size. We therefore experimentally determined grain growth laws for quartz. We discuss the importance of the grain size exponent, water fugacity exponent, and activation energy. Our results indicate that the contribution of grain growth to deformation may become important in lower-crustal conditions.
Grain size is a key factor for deformation. Quartz is one of the main constituents of the crust,...