Comparison of quartz microfabric with strain in recrystallized quartzite
The relationship between quartz c-axis microfabric and strain is examined in six specimens of recrystallized quartzite conglomerate in which strain was measured using pebble shapes. Four rocks subjected to plane strain display a direct relationship between the strength of preferred orientation and the strain intensity. The c-axis distributions in these rocks, as well as a rock subjected to moderate extensional strain, are crossed-girdles with maxima near the intermediate principal strain axis and connecting girdles at acute angles to the direction of maximum shortening. A rock subjected to moderate flattening strain has several maxima clustered near the direction of maximum shortening and a weak connecting girdle through the intermediate principal strain axis. These results are generally similar to those of other studies comparing strain and tectonite fabrics and also with experimental and computer simulation studies of fabrics. The degree of preferred orientation is related to total strain, and therefore microfabrics in quartzites may be cautiously interpreted as qualitative indicators of strain intensity. Uncertainties are greater, however, for correlations of fabric patterns with shapes of the strain ellipsoid. An observed increase in recrystallized grain sizes with increasing strain suggests that flow stress was lower in the more strained rocks.
Journal of Structural Geology
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