Abstract Exhumed fossil subduction zones are archives of the deformation conditions and mechanisms from depths not directly accessible. Microstructural analysis of samples exhumed therefrom offers insights into the micromechanics and deformation processes associated with subduction such as earthquakes, slow earthquakes, and aseismic creep. Subducted and exhumed continental metasediments of the Tuscan Metamorphic Units of the Italian Northern Apennines contain a mylonitic foliation and quartz and carpholite dilational hydroshear veins with crack-and-seal textures, both developed at blueschist facies conditions (350?400°C, ?1 GPa). As shown by overprinting relationships and mineral assemblages, these two structure types formed broadly coeval within the stability field of carpholite. Metaconglomerates and metaquartzarenites deformed mainly by dissolution-precipitation creep and secondary by dislocation creep. Microstructural and electron backscatter diffraction analyses of the veins suggest only limited recrystallization of quartz fibers by subgrain rotation recrystallization, with adjacent metapelite bands acting as decollement horizons, likely by slip on the basal plane of phyllosilicates. We estimated differential stresses of 43?55 MPa and strain rates between 10?13 and 10?14 s?1 from the vein recrystallized quartz fibers. We propose these microstructures and deformation mechanisms to represent a geological evidence of deep episodic tremor and slow slip events in subducted continental metasediments. Pore pressure cyclically reached supralithostatic values triggering tremors causing fracturing of all involved lithotypes. Likely, slow slip was accommodated preferentially by slip on phyllosilicate bands. Aseismic creep occurred mainly by dislocation creep with subgrain rotation recrystallization in vein quartz, slip on the basal plane of phyllosilicates, and dissolution and precipitation creep in the host rock.

Deformation Mechanisms of Blueschist Facies Continental Metasediments May Offer Insights Into Deep Episodic Tremor and Slow Slip Events

Giuntoli, Francesco
;
Viola, Giulio;
2022

Abstract

Abstract Exhumed fossil subduction zones are archives of the deformation conditions and mechanisms from depths not directly accessible. Microstructural analysis of samples exhumed therefrom offers insights into the micromechanics and deformation processes associated with subduction such as earthquakes, slow earthquakes, and aseismic creep. Subducted and exhumed continental metasediments of the Tuscan Metamorphic Units of the Italian Northern Apennines contain a mylonitic foliation and quartz and carpholite dilational hydroshear veins with crack-and-seal textures, both developed at blueschist facies conditions (350?400°C, ?1 GPa). As shown by overprinting relationships and mineral assemblages, these two structure types formed broadly coeval within the stability field of carpholite. Metaconglomerates and metaquartzarenites deformed mainly by dissolution-precipitation creep and secondary by dislocation creep. Microstructural and electron backscatter diffraction analyses of the veins suggest only limited recrystallization of quartz fibers by subgrain rotation recrystallization, with adjacent metapelite bands acting as decollement horizons, likely by slip on the basal plane of phyllosilicates. We estimated differential stresses of 43?55 MPa and strain rates between 10?13 and 10?14 s?1 from the vein recrystallized quartz fibers. We propose these microstructures and deformation mechanisms to represent a geological evidence of deep episodic tremor and slow slip events in subducted continental metasediments. Pore pressure cyclically reached supralithostatic values triggering tremors causing fracturing of all involved lithotypes. Likely, slow slip was accommodated preferentially by slip on phyllosilicate bands. Aseismic creep occurred mainly by dislocation creep with subgrain rotation recrystallization in vein quartz, slip on the basal plane of phyllosilicates, and dissolution and precipitation creep in the host rock.
Giuntoli, Francesco; Viola, Giulio; Sørensen, Bjørn Eske
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/897406
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