Mica-controlled anisotropy within mid-to-upper crustal mylonites: an EBSD study of mica fabrics in the Alpine Fault Zone, New Zealand
Edward D. Dempsey, Dave J. Prior, Elisabetta Mariani, Virginia G. Toy, Daniel J. Tatham, 2011. "Mica-controlled anisotropy within mid-to-upper crustal mylonites: an EBSD study of mica fabrics in the Alpine Fault Zone, New Zealand", Deformation Mechanisms, Rheology and Tectonics: Microstructures, Mechanics and Anisotropy, David J. Prior, Ernest H. Rutter, Daniel J. Tatham
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The lattice preferred orientation (LPO) of both muscovite and biotite were measured by electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) and these data, together with the LPOs of the other main constituent minerals, were used to produce models of the seismic velocity anisotropy of the Alpine Fault Zone. Numerical experiments examine the effects of varying modal percentages of mica within the fault rocks. These models suggest that when the mica modal proportions approach 20% in quartzofeldspathic mylonites the intrinsic seismic anisotropy of the studied fault zone is dominated by mica, with the direction of the fastest P and S wave velocities strongly dependent on the mica LPOs. The LPOs show that micas produce three distinct patterns within mylonitic fault zones: C-fabric, S-fabric and a composite S–C fabric. The asymmetry of the LPOs can be used as kinematic indicators for the deformation within mylonites. Kinematic data from the micas matches the kinematic interpretation of quartz LPOs and field data. The modelling of velocities and velocity anisotropies from sample LPOs is consistent with geophysical data from the crust under the Southern Alps. The Alpine Fault mylonites and parallel Alpine schists have intrinsic P-wave velocity anisotropies of 12% and S-wave anisotropies of 10%.
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This collection of papers presents recent advances in the study of deformation mechanisms and rheology and their applications to tectonics. Many of the contributions exploit new petrofabric techniques, particularly electron backscatter diffraction, to help understand evolution of rock microstructure and mechanical properties. Papers in the first section (lattice preferred orientations and anisotropy) show a growing emphasis on the determination of elastic properties from petrofabrics, from which acoustic properties can be computed for comparison with in-situ seismic measurements. Such research will underpin geodynamic interpretation of large-scale active tectonics. Contributions in the second section (microstructures, mechanisms and rheology) study the relations between microstructural evolution during deformation and mechanical properties. Many of the papers explore how different mechanisms compete and interact to control the evolution of grain size and petrofabrics. Contributors make use of combinations of laboratory experiments, field studies and computational methods, and several relate microstructural and mechanical evolution to large-scale tectonic processes observed in nature.