The purpose of this study was to investigate the structural and chemical modifications of phyllosilicates that occur under natural conditions, using the progressive deformation of chlorite (sudoite) present in quartz-rich veins from the Internal Zone of the Rif range (Morocco) as the model system. Signs of chlorite deformation include kinks, chevron-like folds, and fractures. The samples also contain later, undeformed grains, which sealed the fractures or grew with (001) perpendicular to the compressive stress. Deformation-induced structural changes consist mainly of basal cleavages associated with ordered replacement of brucite sheets by hydrated layers, thus leading to irregular microdomains of mixed-layer chlorite-vermiculite and sudoite. Such structural modifications represent a mechanism for accommodating the compressive stress. Structural changes were accompanied by minor chemical ones, which lead from di,tri-chlorite (sudoite) to phases with a more trioctahedral character (mixed-layer chlorite-vermiculite). The hydration reaction occurred throughout a topotactic replacement of the pre-existing sudoite grains. Later, undeformed grains consist of mixed-layer chlorite-vermiculite intergrown with retrogressive kaolinite and minor Fe oxide, and are interpreted as having formed through a dissolution-precipitation process, during deformation. Retrogression of sudoite probably occurred during the latest stage of exhumation, in low-temperature conditions.

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