A constitutive model for layer development in shear zones near the brittle-ductile transition
Montesi, Laurent G. J.
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The microstructure of ductile shear zones differs from that of surrounding wall rocks. In particular, compositional layering is a hallmark of shear zones. As layered rocks are weaker than their isotropic protolith when loaded in simple shear, layering may hold the key to explain localization of ductile deformation onto ductile shear zones. I propose here a constitutive model for layer development. A two-level mixing theory allows the strength of the aggregate to be estimated at intermediate degrees of layering. A probabilistic failure model is introduced to control how layers develop in a deforming aggregate. This model captures one of the initial mechanism of phase interconnection identified experimentally by Holyoke and Tullis (2006a, 2006b), fracturing of load bearing grains. This model reproduces the strength evolution of these experiments and can now be applied to tectonic modeling.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2007. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geophysical Research Letters 34 (2007): L08307, doi:10.1029/2007GL029250.
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