The current view regarding the timing of regionally developed penetrative tectonic fabrics in sedimentary rocks is that their development postdates lithification of those rocks. In this case, fabric development is achieved by a number of deformation mechanisms, including grain rigid body rotation, crystal-plastic deformation, and pressure solution. The latter is believed to be the primary mechanism responsible for the domainal structure of cleavage in low-grade metamorphic rocks. In this study we combine field observations with strain studies to characterize considerable (>50%) Acadian crustal shortening in a Devonian clastic sedimentary sequence from southwest Ireland. Despite these high levels of shortening there is a marked absence of the domainal cleavage structure and intraclast deformation that are expected with this level of deformation. Fabrics in these rocks are predominantly a product of rigid body rotation and repacking of extraformational clasts during deformation of a clastic sedimentary sequence before lithification was complete.

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