Three-dimensional evaluation of fabric evolution and metamorphic reaction progress in polycyclic and polymetamorphic terrains: a case from the Central Italian Alps
Published:January 01, 2010
Francesca Salvi, Maria Iole Spalla, Michele Zucali, Guido Gosso, 2010. "Three-dimensional evaluation of fabric evolution and metamorphic reaction progress in polycyclic and polymetamorphic terrains: a case from the Central Italian Alps", Advances in Interpretation of Geological Processes: Refinement of Multi-scale Data and Integration in Numerical Modelling, M. I. Spalla, A. M. Marotta, G. Gosso
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The 3D reconstruction of geological bodies is an excellent tool for the representation of crustal structures and is applied here to understand related heterogeneities in the grain-scale fabrics; the western portion of the Languard–Tonale Alpine tectono-metamorphic unit (Austroalpine domain, Central Alps) allows evaluation of the per cent volume of textural reworking during polyphase pre-Alpine and Alpine deformations. The structural and metamorphic overprinting during the last deformation imprint involved less than 50% of rock volume; this estimate is obtained by discriminating domains that homogeneously recorded structural and metamorphic re-equilibration during crenulation–decrenulation cycles. These domains are reconstructed using a geograhpical information system (GIS) to manipulate field data and interpretative cross-sections as a means to constrain their 3D volumes. The degree of fabric evolution is integrated at the microscale with the estimate of the reactants/products ratio to infer the progress of metamorphic transformation related to advancing degree of mechanical reactivation. The correlation between degree of fabric evolution and progress of synkinematic metamorphic reactions shows that differences between pristine mineral assemblages v. pre-existing fabrics influence the rate of reaction accomplishment. Fabric evolution and degree of metamorphic transformation increase proportionally once above the threshold value of 60% of volume affected by fabric rejuvenation; metamorphic degree also influences the progress of metamorphic reactions.
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Advances in Interpretation of Geological Processes: Refinement of Multi-scale Data and Integration in Numerical Modelling
Iterative comparison of analytical results and natural observations with predictions of numerical models improves interpretation of geological processes. Further refinements derive from wide-angle comparison of results from various scales of study. In this volume, advances from field, laboratory and modelling approaches to tectonic evolution – from the lithosphere to the rock scale – are compared. Constructive use is made of apparently discrepant or non-consistent results from analytical or methodological approaches in processing field or laboratory data, P–T estimates, absolute or relative age determinations of tectonic events, tectonic unit size in crustal scale deformation, grain-scale deformation processes, various modelling approaches, and numerical techniques. Advances in geodynamic modelling critically depend on new insights into grain- and subgrain-scale deformation processes. Conversely, quantitative models help to identify which rheological laws and parameters exert the strongest control on multi-scale deformation up to lithosphere and upper mantle scale.