Abstract

Quartz c-axis lattice preferred orientation (LPO) patterns have been widely used to analyze different aspects of mid-crustal ductile deformation. However, despite the common presence of annealed microstructures in high-grade metamorphic belts, the effects of static recrystallization on such quartz LPOs are unclear. A suite of samples of quartz schist from the Nukata area of the Ryoke metamorphic belt was collected along profiles of several kilometers that reach the postorogenic Shinshiro tonalite. The samples show an increase in grain size and changes in microstructure, such as straightening of grain boundaries and formation of quartz-in-quartz inclusions that represent annealing related to contact metamorphism. In contrast to the clear microstructural changes, quartz c-axis LPO patterns show only very minor modifications even after strong annealing. This result implies that quartz LPO patterns should not be obliterated by static recrystallization and quartz-rich tectonites that lack such LPO patterns deformed by processes other than dislocation creep. Likely processes in high-grade rocks are grain boundary sliding assisted by melt migration and diffusion creep, both of which are characterized by Newtonian rheologies.

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