The evolution of high-temperature mylonitic microfabrics: evidence from simple shearing of a quartz analogue (norcamphor)

Herwegh, Marco; Handy, Mark R. (1996). The evolution of high-temperature mylonitic microfabrics: evidence from simple shearing of a quartz analogue (norcamphor). Journal of structural geology, 18(5), pp. 689-710. Pergamon 10.1016/S0191-8141(96)80033-2

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Plane strain simple shearing of norcamphor (C7H10O) in a see-through deformation rig to a shear strain of γ = 10.5 at a homologous temperature of Th = 0.81 yields a microfabric similar to that of quartz in amphibolite facies mylonite. Synkinematic analysis of the norcamphor microfabric reveals that the development of a steady-state texture is linked to changes in the relative activities of several grain-scale mechanisms. Three stages of textural and microstructural evolution are distinguished: (1) rotation and shearing of the intracrystalline glide planes are accommodated by localized deformation along three sets of anastomozing microshears. A symmetrical c-axis girdle reflects localized pure shear extension along the main microshear set (Sa) oblique to the bulk shear zone boundary (abbreviated as SZB); (2) progressive rotation of the microshears into parallelism with the SZB increases the component of simple shear on the Sa microshears. Grain-boundary migration recrystallization favours the survival of grains with slip systems oriented for easy glide. This is associated with a textural transition towards two stable c-axis point maxima whose skeletal outline is oblique with respect to the Sa microshears and the SZB; and (3) at high shear strains (γ > 8), the microstructure, texture and mechanism assemblage are strain invariant, but strain continues to partition into rotating sets of microshears. Steady state is therefore a dynamic, heterogeneous condition involving the cyclic nucleation, growth and consumption of grains.

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:

20 Jun 2016 16:33

Last Modified:

20 Jun 2016 16:33

Publisher DOI:





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