Albite crystallographic preferred orientation and grain misorientation distribution in a low-grade mylonite: Implications for granular flow

  • Jiang Z
  • Prior D
  • Wheeler J
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Abstract

Crystallographic orientation data from pure albite domains in a low-grade sheared metagabbro from the Combin Zone of the western Italian Alps were measured by electron backscatter diffraction. Crystallographic preferred orientations (CPOs) in four high-strain domains are non-random and have a triclinic symmetry. The clusters of [100], [010] and [001] show an angular relationship that corresponds to that of the albite crystal lattice. However, the orientations of axis clusters to the kinematic axes vary from domain to domain. CPOs from a low-strain domain also show clustered axes with triclinic symmetry, but with more intense clustering than those in the high-strain domains. Grain misorientation distributions are presented both for the low-strain domain and one of the high-strain domains. In the high-strain domain, the distribution of misorientation angles between neighbouring grains displays a peak at about 70°. The equivalent distribution in the low-strain domain has a peak at 30°. For both domains, the misorientation axis distributions, between neighbouring and non-neighbouring grains, are random, except for some of axes with 160-180°misorientation that exhibit a slight concentration around [010]. The diversity of CPOs among the domains suggests that these CPOs could not be produced by dislocation creep. They are likely to have been inherited from plagioclase parents, as a result of host control on the nucleation of the new albite grains. These CPOs do not contain any direct information about the deformation kinematics. We interpret that deformation of these domains occurred by granular flow. Crystallographic axis dispersion due to grain boundary sliding (GBS) caused weakening of CPOs, modification of misorientation angle distributions and randomisation of misorientation axis distributions. The fact that a CPO can survive GBS even after a high strain indicates that CPO is not always a sensitive indicator of deformation mechanisms. Misorientation distribution may provide a complementary, and possibly a more sensitive indicator of deformation mechanisms. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.

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Authors

  • Zhenting Jiang

  • David J. Prior

  • John Wheeler

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