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Deformation mechanisms of amphibole and plagioclase were investigated in two metagabbroic sheets (the eastern and western metagabbros from the Staré Město belt, eastern Bohemian Massif), using petrology, quantitative microstructural and electron back-scattered diffraction methods. After the gabbroic pyroxene was replaced by amphibole, both gabbroic bodies became progressively deformed. The eastern metagabbros were deformed under temperature of c. 650 °C and the western metagabbros under c. 750 °C. Subgrain rotation and dislocation creep, characterized by strong crystallographic and shape preferred orientations, operated in plagioclase of the eastern belt during the early stages of deformation. Subsequent randomizing of plagioclase crystallographic preferred orientation is interpreted to be due to grain boundary sliding in the mylonitic stage. Large (50–150 μm) grain sizes during the mylonitic stages are interpreted to be due to low strain rates. Amphibole is stronger and deforms cataclastically, leading to important grain size reduction when the bulk rock strength drops substantially. In the western belt, plagioclase deformed by dislocation creep accompanied by grain boundary migration (possibly chemically induced) while heterogeneous nucleation and syndeformational grain growth in conjunction with dislocation creep were typical for amphiboles.

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