From a few examples, the first part of this paper discusses the use of transmission electron microscopy in characterizing arrested silicate reaction mechanisms in coherent rocks, including nucleation, crystal growth, and resorption events. Some attention is given to the role of reaction sites and strain. The second part of the paper addresses the wealth of mutual arrangement of serpentine tubules (chrysotile sl) found recently in serpentinite cracks, the result of hydration reactions. It is suggested that their great flexibility of association as fascinating mesostructures may indicate how veins formed and how they were filled. Micro- to nano-cracks might potentially serve as markers of brittle deformation in the submicron range, and therefore might document nanostructural geology. When possible the topological and self-assembly features observed for chrysotile are compared with those reported for graphene nanotubes.

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