Fracturing and crystal plastic behaviour of garnet under seismic stress in the dry lower continental crust (Musgrave Ranges, Central Australia)

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: This is version 1 of this Preprint.


Download Preprint


Friedrich Hawemann , Neil S. Mancktelow, Alfredo Camacho, Giorgio Pennacchioni, Sebastian Wex


Garnet is a high strength mineral compared to other common minerals, such as quartz and feldspar, in the felsic crust. In felsic mylonites, garnet typically occurs as porphyroclasts that mostly evade intracrystalline deformation, except under relatively high temperature conditions. The microstructure of garnet in felsic lower-crustal rocks of the Musgrave Ranges (Central Australia) records both fracturing and crystal-plastic deformation. Granulite facies metamorphism at ~ 1200 Ma generally dehydrated the rocks and produced mm-sized garnets in peraluminous gneisses. A later ~ 550 Ma overprint under sub-eclogitic conditions (600-700 °C, 1.1-1.3 GPa) developed mylonitic shear zones and abundant pseudotachylyte, coeval with the neocrystallization of fine-grained, high-calcium garnet. In the mylonites, granulite-facies garnet porphyroclasts have high calcium content along rims and fractures. However, in certain cases, these rims are narrower than equivalent rims along original grain boundaries, indicating contemporaneous diffusion and fracturing of garnet. The fractured garnets exhibit internal crystal-plastic deformation, which coincides with areas of enhanced diffusion, usually along zones of crystal lattice distortion and dislocation walls associated with subgrain rotation recrystallization. Fracturing of garnet under dry lower crustal conditions, in an otherwise viscously flowing matrix, requires transient high differential stress, most likely related to seismic rupture, consistent with the coeval development of abundant pseudotachylyte.



Earth Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics


earthquake, deformation, EBSD, brittle, ductile, garnet


Published: 2019-05-08 16:01


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

Add a Comment

You must log in to post a comment.


There are no comments or no comments have been made public for this article.