The microstructure of pseudotachylite veins, as analyzed with the transmission electron microscope, displays many features of intense brittle deformation and resembles more closely shock-deformed specimens than a rock first melted and then quenched to a glass and devitrified upon cooling. Only very minor glass or devitrification textures were observed, but there is ample evidence for recrystallization of highly strained regions. Pseudotachylites appear to form by a dominantly brittle mechanism at moderate to deep crustal levels and may be related to earthquakes.

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