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Abstract

A strain gradient was mesoscopically recognized in sheared leucogneisses cropping out near Mount Montalto (Calabria, southern Italy) in the Aspromonte–Peloritani Unit on the basis of field observations. In order to investigate the relationship between textural and physical anisotropy, a microstructural and petrophysical study was carried out on selected mylonites exhibiting different stages of deformation. The main mineral assemblage is Qtz+Pl+Kfs+Wm, displaying SC and shear-band textures; mica-fish and ribbon-like quartz are widespread.

As strain increases K-feldspar, biotite and premylonitic low phengite white mica transformed to synmylonitic high phengite white mica and quartz, accompanied by an increasing albitization. Different quartz c-axis patterns are ascribable to non-coaxial progressive deformation; we suggest that deformation proceeded under greenschist- up to amphibolite-facies conditions owing to a local increase in shearing temperature.

Laboratory seismic measurements were carried out on sample cubes (43 mm edged) cut according to the structural frame (foliation, lineation) of the rock. At 400 MPa and room temperature the averages of compressional (Vp) and shear-wave velocities (Vs) are very similar: 5.70–5.91 and 3.36–3.55 km s−1, respectively. Seismic anisotropy and shear-wave splitting are related to the modal amounts of constituent minerals (in particular mica) and their crystallographic preferred orientation. Importantly, anisotropy is lowest in the most strained rock.

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