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On estimating the strength of calcite rocks under natural conditions

By
J. H. P. de Bresser
J. H. P. de Bresser
HPT-laboratory, Faculty of Earth Sciences, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80.021, 3508 TA Utrecht, the Netherlands
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B. Evans
B. Evans
Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
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J. Renner
J. Renner
Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USAInstitute for Geology, Mineralogy, and Geophysics, Ruhr-Universität, D-44780 Bochum, Germany
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Published:
January 01, 2002

Abstract

Field studies of calcite mylonites often document microstructures produced by dislocation creep. In contrast, flow laws derived from experiments predict that calcite rocks should deform mostly by diffusion creep during tectonic processes. To investigate this apparent discrepancy, we compare stresses estimated by microstructural piezometers to those obtained by extrapolation of experimentally derived flow laws. Considering shear zones from different geological settings, a clear trend is observed of increasing recrystallized grain size with increasing temperature. However, there is a large spread in grain size and associated stress. Because separate flow laws have been defined for various different marbles and limestones, the strengths predicted for a given set of conditions differ significantly. The stress estimates based on the piezometers and strength extrapolated from the various experimentally derived dislocation creep flow laws agree qualitatively, but no single flow law predicts all the palaeostress estimates. Even if experimental data are disregarded, the field observations are not consistent with a hypothetical law for Coble creep; they are consistent with a power law for dislocation creep, but only if the material constants are different from those currently determined in laboratory experiments.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Deformation Mechanisms, Rheology and Tectonics: Current Status and Future Perspectives

S. de Meer
S. de Meer
Utrecht University, The Netherlands
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M. R. Drury
M. R. Drury
Utrecht University, The Netherlands
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J. H. P. de Bresser
J. H. P. de Bresser
Utrecht University, The Netherlands
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G. M. Pennock
G. M. Pennock
Utrecht University, The Netherlands
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Geological Society of London
Volume
200
ISBN electronic:
9781862396081
Publication date:
January 01, 2002

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