Rock mechanics constraints on mid-crustal low-viscosity flow beneath Tibet
E. H. Rutter, J. Mecklenburgh, K. H. Brodie, 2011. "Rock mechanics constraints on mid-crustal low-viscosity flow beneath Tibet", Deformation Mechanisms, Rheology and Tectonics: Microstructures, Mechanics and Anisotropy, David J. Prior, Ernest H. Rutter, Daniel J. Tatham
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It has been inferred from various types of geophysical data that the Tibetan middle and upper crust is detached from the underlying lower crust and mantle by a weak, mid-crustal zone involving partial melting at about 30–35 km depth. Previous modelling of the flow has used an arbitrary mid-crustal rheology to match the constraints imposed by the overall flow regime. Here we show that extrapolation of experimental rock mechanics data for solid-state flow of a quartz-dominated Tibetan middle and upper crust, plus flow of partially molten synthetic ‘granitoid’, are consistent with the geophysical constraints and provide an experimentally constrained basis for the modelling of crustal rheology involving partially molten rocks.