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Volume 34 Issue 2
Apr 2023
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Article Contents
Lefan Zhan, Shuyun Cao, Yanlong Dong, Wenyuan Li. Strain Localized Deformation Variation of a Small-Scale Ductile Shear Zone. Journal of Earth Science, 2023, 34(2): 409-430. doi: 10.1007/s12583-022-1681-6
Citation: Lefan Zhan, Shuyun Cao, Yanlong Dong, Wenyuan Li. Strain Localized Deformation Variation of a Small-Scale Ductile Shear Zone. Journal of Earth Science, 2023, 34(2): 409-430. doi: 10.1007/s12583-022-1681-6

Strain Localized Deformation Variation of a Small-Scale Ductile Shear Zone

doi: 10.1007/s12583-022-1681-6
More Information
  • Corresponding author: Shuyun Cao,
  • Received Date: 17 Mar 2022
  • Accepted Date: 10 May 2022
  • Issue Publish Date: 30 Apr 2023
  • A continental-scale strike-slip shear zone frequently presents a long-lasting deformation and physical expression of strain localization in a middle to lower crustal level. However, the deformation evolution of strain localization at a small-scale remains unclear. This study investigated < 10 cm wide shear zones developing in undeformed granodiorites exposed at the boundary of the continental-scale Gaoligong strike-slip shear zone. The small-scale ductile shear zones exhibit a typical transition from protomylonite, mylonite to extremely deformed ultramylonite, and decreasing mineral size from coarse-grained aggregates to extremely fine-grained mixed phases. Shearing sense indicators such as hornblende and feldspar porphyroclasts in the shear zone are the more significantly low-strain zone of mylonite. The microstructure and EBSD results revealed that the small-scale shear zone experienced ductile deformation under medium-high temperature conditions. Quartz aggregates suggested a consistent temperature with an irregular feature, exhibiting a dominated high-temperature prism < a > slip system. Additionally, coarse-grained aggregates in the mylonite of the shear zone were deformed predominantly by dislocation creep, while ultra-plastic flow by viscous grain boundary sliding was an essential deformation process in the extremely fine-grained (~50 μm) mixed-phases in the ultramylonite. Microstructural-derived strain rates calculated from quartz paleopiezometry were on the order of 10-15 to 10-13 s-1 from low-strain mylonite to high strained ultramylonite. The localization and strain rate-limited process was fluid-assisted precipitation presenting transitions of compositions as hydrous retrogression of hornblende to mica during increasing deformation and exhumation. Furthermore, the potential occurrence of the small-scale shear zone was initiated at a middle-deep crust seated crustal condition dominated by the temperature-controlled formation and rheological weakening.


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