Deformation mechanisms of plagioclase and seismic anisotropy of the Acebuches metabasites (SW Iberian massif)
Manuel Díaz-Azpiroz, Geoffrey E. Lloyd, Carlos Fernández, 2011. "Deformation mechanisms of plagioclase and seismic anisotropy of the Acebuches metabasites (SW Iberian massif)", Deformation Mechanisms, Rheology and Tectonics: Microstructures, Mechanics and Anisotropy, David J. Prior, Ernest H. Rutter, Daniel J. Tatham
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Samples of the Acebuches metabasites (SW Spain), deformed under low-pressure/medium-to-high temperature metamorphic conditions, have been analysed via electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD) to obtain their plagioclase crystal lattice preferred orientations (LPO). Plagioclases from the highest temperature amphibolites show moderate LPO and a good correlation between 180° misorientation angles and both the crystal and the kinematic coordinate systems, which is attributed to dislocation glide accommodated by mechanical albite+pericline twinning. Plagioclases from medium-temperature amphibolites exhibit well-developed LPO, suggesting that dislocation creep was active during plagioclase deformation. Plagioclases from the more intensively deformed mafic schists exhibit weak LPO, indicating the activity of LPO-destroying deformation mechanisms. Evidence points to grain-boundary sliding accompanied by limited fracturing. The observed LPO are characterized by the alignment of  parallel to the kinematic X-direction. This association suggests that  was the preferential slip direction during dislocation creep of plagioclase, with (010) and/or (001) appearing to have acted as the dominant slip planes. The observed plagioclase LPO is combined with hornblende LPO to define the seismic fabric of the Acebuches metabasites. In samples with strong plagioclase LPO, the resulting seismic fabrics are highly influenced by this phase.
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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.