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Deformation microstructures of low- and high-strain epidote-blueschist (Ryukyu arc, Japan): Implications for subduction interface rheology

De Caroli, Sara, Fagereng, Åke ORCID:, Ujiie, Kohtaro, Blenkinsop, Thomas ORCID:, Meneghini, Francesca and Muir, Duncan 2024. Deformation microstructures of low- and high-strain epidote-blueschist (Ryukyu arc, Japan): Implications for subduction interface rheology. Journal of Structural Geology 180 , 105041. 10.1016/j.jsg.2023.105041

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We present field and microstructural data from an exhumed subduction complex in the Ryukyu arc, Japan, where epidote-blueschist, Triassic, Tomuru metamorphic rocks with block-in-matrix structure crop out. With the aim to constrain epidote-blueschist rheology, we investigate fabric development and infer deformation mechanisms of blocks and matrix through microstructural analyses on the main fabric-forming minerals: glaucophane, epidote and albite. The blocks have a poorly developed, discontinuous foliation. In contrast, the matrix has a well-developed, continuous foliation. Glaucophane is the principal foliation-forming phase, arranged in interconnected layers that surround epidote and albite, which suggests that glaucophane controls epidote-blueschist rheology. Deformation mechanisms inferred from petrographic and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) analysis are similar in blocks and matrix, with glaucophane deformed by diffusion creep accompanied by reaction-driven creep, albite by diffusion creep, and epidote by brittle fracture and incipient dislocation creep, based on degrees of internal misorientations, lattice preferred orientation (LPO) development and grain size. During deformation, shear stress must have been relatively low, which is implied by the predominance of diffusion and reaction creep as the dominant deformation mechanisms, and by the small viscosity contrast between blocks and matrix, reflected by their similarity in dominant deformation mechanism.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Additional Information: License information from Publisher: LICENSE 1: Title: This article is under embargo with an end date yet to be finalised.
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0191-8141
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 January 2024
Date of Acceptance: 15 December 2023
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2024 14:19

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