Crustal deformation is inherently complex because the crust is inhomogeneous and anisotropic on a wide variety of scales. Advances in our understanding have come from a combination of field observations, laboratory experiments and theoretical models. What necessarily links all these investigations is a focus on process. Crystal plasticity (dislocation creep) is one of several grain-scale deformation processes or mechanisms; each process is dominant over a certain range of conditions in the crust, has a particular form of the flow law, and produces a characteristic set of microstructures. Characterizing the deformation mechanisms for different minerals, over a range of conditions, allows...

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