The influence of phase and grain size distribution on the dynamics of strain localization in polymineralic rocks

Daria Czaplińska*, Sandra Piazolo, Ivan Zibra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Deformation microstructures of a quartzo-feldspathic pegmatite deformed at mid-crustal levels allow the study of the dynamics of strain localization in polymineralic rocks. Strain localization results from (i) difference in grain sizes between phases, both original and obtained during fluid present reactions and (ii) initial compositional banding. Due to original difference in grain size stress concentrates in the initially finer-grained phases resulting in their intense grain size reduction via subgrain rotation recrystallization (SGR). When the grain size is sufficiently reduced through either deformation or interphase coupled dissolution-precipitation replacement of the coarse grained feldspar, aggregates start to deform by dominantly diffusion accommodated grain boundary sliding (GBS). Phase mixing inhibits grain growth and sustains a grain size allowing GBS. Consequently, discontinuous microscale shear zones form locally within initially coarse grained areas. At the same time difference in strain rate between feldspar-rich and quartz-rich domains needs to be accommodated at domain boundaries. This results in the formation of continuous mesoscale shear zones deformed by GBS. Once these are formed, deformation in the coarse grained parts is arrested and strain is mainly accommodated in the mesoscale shear zones resulting in "superplastic" behaviour consistent with diffusion creep.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-32
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Structural Geology
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015


  • Strain localization
  • Reaction softening
  • Diffusion creep
  • Middle crust
  • Feldspar
  • Electron back-scattered diffraction


Dive into the research topics of 'The influence of phase and grain size distribution on the dynamics of strain localization in polymineralic rocks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this