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Torsion experiments on coarse-grained dunite: implications for microstructural evolution when diffusion creep is suppressed

By
Philip Skemer
Philip Skemer
Washington University in Saint Louis, Saint Louis, MO 63130
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Marshall Sundberg
Marshall Sundberg
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
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Greg Hirth
Greg Hirth
Department of Geological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI 02920, USA
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Reid Cooper
Reid Cooper
Department of Geological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI 02920, USA
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Published:
January 01, 2011

Abstract

Large strain deformation experiments in torsion were conducted on a coarse-grained natural dunite with a pre-existing lattice preferred orientation (LPO). Experiments were conducted at conditions where deformation by diffusion creep is initially negligible. Microstructural evolution was studied as a function of strain. We observe that the pre-existing LPO persists to a shear strain of at least 0.5. At larger strains, this LPO is transformed. Relict deformed grains exhibit LPO with [100] crystallographic axes at high angles to the shear plane. Unlike previous experimental studies, these axes do not readily rotate into the shear plane with increasing strain. Partial dynamic recrystallization occurs in samples deformed to moderate strains (γ>0.5). Recrystallized material forms bands that mostly transect grain interiors. The negligible rate of diffusion creep along relict grain boundaries, as well as the limited nature of dynamic recrystallization, may account for the relatively large strains required to observe evolution of microstructures. Our data support hypotheses based on natural samples that microstructures may preserve evidence of complex deformation histories. Relationships between LPO, seismic anisotropy and deformation kinematics may not always be straightforward.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Deformation Mechanisms, Rheology and Tectonics: Microstructures, Mechanics and Anisotropy

David J. Prior
David J. Prior
University of Otago, New Zealand
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Ernest H. Rutter
Ernest H. Rutter
University of Manchester, UK
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Daniel J. Tatham
Daniel J. Tatham
University of Liverpool, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
360
ISBN electronic:
9781862394483
Publication date:
January 01, 2011

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