Biases in three-dimensional vorticity analysis using porphyroclast system: limits and application to natural examples
D. Iacopini, C. Frassi, R. Carosi, C. Montomoli, 2011. "Biases in three-dimensional vorticity analysis using porphyroclast system: limits and application to natural examples", Deformation Mechanisms, Rheology and Tectonics: Microstructures, Mechanics and Anisotropy, David J. Prior, Ernest H. Rutter, Daniel J. Tatham
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A description of the systematic errors associated with the measurement of the vorticity number from poryhroclasts in natural systems is presented and discussed. We show that strong biases and systematic errors could derive both from some erroneous physical (i.e. no slip across clast/matrix boundary, homogeneity within the matrix) as well as geometrical assumptions (i.e. the radius ratio and angular measurements carried out in two dimensions on outcrop surfaces and thin section). By comparing natural datasets of porphyroclast shape preferred orientation (SPO) with different theoretical curves plots, we suggest that at least one of the Jeffery physical assumptions can be tested when applying vorticity techniques. The comparison of different possible sources of systematic errors indicates that, for medium-to-low vorticity numbers (Wm<0.8), vorticity data are strongly biased and that a minimum systematic error of 0.2 should be taken into account. Finally, we use data from natural shear zones from the Southern Variscan Belt in Sardinia to test and discuss the starting assumptions of the Jeffery model.
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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.