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Brittle-ductile transition in subduction zones : the role of quartz

Abstract : The trasition from instable seismic to stable aseismic behaviour is observed in at the lower limit of the seismogenic zones in subduction zones (12-15 km). This transition is supposed to be controlled by the onset of quartz low grade plasticity at about 350°C. Due to inaccessibility of these geodynamic contests, the only way to study the physical processes acting at these depth are exhumed accretionary prisms exposed in mountain chains. The Hyuga tectonic mélange and the Foliated Morotsuka are metasedimentary units constituting the Shimanto accretionary prism (Japan). They were deformed at temperatures of ~250°C and ~340°C respectively, so slightly lower or equal to the temperature transition. Results by optical microscopy and EBSD reveal that 1) quartz deformation mechanisms active in Hyuga Tectonic Mélange are pressure solution and microfracturation accompanied by local quartz low grade plasticity; 2) dynamic recrystallization is totally active in quartz of the Foliated Morotsuka. These considerations allow to consider the role of water in triggering quartz plasticity especially in such water-rich contest as subduction zones. With the aim to better understand the role played by water on quartz rheology, we deformed high hydrated (from Hyuga unit) and dry (classic Brazil) quartz porphyroclasts within a quartz matrix, with the Griggs apparatus. These experiments show the weakening water effect on quartz strength. At the same deformation conditions, the high hydrated Hyuga quartz show recrystallization by grain boundary migration while the dry Brazil porphyroclasts are mostly undeformed, at exception of the outer recrystallized rims. The exceeding water expulsed from Hyuga quartz is stored in C’ shear bands in the matrix; water absorbed by dry Brazil porphyroclasts is not enough to promote dynamic recrystallization.
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Submitted on : Thursday, December 1, 2016 - 8:15:18 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-01407260, version 1



Giulia Palazzin. Brittle-ductile transition in subduction zones : the role of quartz. Earth Sciences. Université d'Orléans, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016ORLE2001⟩. ⟨tel-01407260⟩



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