The influence of nano-scale second-phase particles on deformation of fine grained calcite mylonites

Herwegh, Marco; Kunze, Karsten (2002). The influence of nano-scale second-phase particles on deformation of fine grained calcite mylonites. Journal of structural geology, 24(9), pp. 1463-1478. Pergamon 10.1016/S0191-8141(01)00144-4

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Grey and white carbonate mylonites were collected along thrust planes of the Helvetic Alps. They are characterised by very small grain sizes and non-random grain shape (SPO) and crystallographic preferred orientation (CPO). Presumably they deformed in the field of grain size sensitive flow by recrystallisation accommodated intracrystalline deformation in combination with granular flow. Both mylonites show a similar mean grain size, but in the grey mylonites the grain size range is larger, the grain shapes are more elongate and the dynamically recrystallised calcite grains are more often twinned. Grey mylonites have an oblique CPO, while the CPO in white mylonites is symmetric with respect to the shear plane. Combustion analysis and TEM investigations revealed that grey mylonites contain a higher amount of highly structured kerogens with particle sizes of a few tens of nanometers, which are finely dispersed at the grain boundaries. During deformation of the rock, nano-scale particles reduced the migration velocity of grain boundaries by Zener drag resulting in slower recrystallisation rates of the calcite aggregate. In the grey mylonites, more strain increments were accommodated by individual grains before they became refreshed by dynamic recrystallisation than in white mylonites, where grain boundary migration was less hindered and recrystallisation cycles were faster. Consequently, grey mylonites represent ‘deformation’ microfabrics while white mylonites are characterised by ‘recrystallisation’ microfabrics. Field geologists must utilise this different deformation behavior when applying the obliquity in CPO and SPO of the respective mylonites as reliable shear sense indicators.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Herwegh, Marco


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology








Marco Herwegh

Date Deposited:

05 Aug 2016 08:33

Last Modified:

05 Aug 2016 08:33

Publisher DOI:





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