Abstract

The clastic metasedimentary rocks that form the Flinton Group occur as arcuate belts within the Grenville Structural Province, southeastern Ontario. Metamorphic isotherms transect these rocks and allow comparison of deformation over an approximate temperature range of 550–650 °C. Two geometrically discrete but temporally continuous deformation phases contribute significantly to pebble deformation within the conglomeratic units. There is a general increase in both finite strain, over which there is a strong compositional control, and the frequency of D2 minor structures with increasing metamorphic temperature. D1 is characterized by the creation of a subgrain structure and progressive misorientation of the subgrains as strain accumulates. Ultimately this leads to formation of high-angle boundaries defining recrystallized grains of a size similar to that of the precursor subgrains. D2 produces a new, finer subgrain structure, elongated grains, grain boundary migration (bulging), and small recrystallized grains. Empirical relationships between stress and subgrain diameter suggest that D1 is a low stress (5–6 MPa) deformation and D2 is a higher stress (12–80 MPa) deformation. This emphasizes that rotation recrystallization defines a low-temperature, low-stress regime, whereas migration recrystallization is typical of higher temperatures and stresses. Although dislocation creep predominates in most pebble types, evaluation of the deformation in terms of non-uniform flow laws can explain the compositional control of strain in the quartzite pebbles and suggests that significant grain boundary sliding occurred.

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