© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Dolomite aggregates deformed by dislocation creep over a wide range of conditions (T=700-1000°C, effective pressure of 900MPa, strain rates of 10-7 - 10-4/s) strain weaken by up to 75% of the peak differential stress. Microstructural study of samples shortened to different finite strains beyond the peak differential stress shows that strain becomes highly localized within shear zones by high-temperature creep processes, with no contribution of brittle cracking. At low strains (8%), dolomite deforms homogeneously by recrystallization-accommodated dislocation creep. At progressively higher sample strains, deformation is localized into narrow shear zones made up of very fine (~3μm) recrystallized grains and relict porphyroclasts (20-100μm). Finely-recrystallized dolomite grains in the shear zones are largely dislocation free and localized shear is facilitated by diffusion creep. In contrast, original dolomite grains and porphyroclasts in shear zones have high dislocation densities and do not deform after shear zone formation. Calculated strain rates in the shear zones are two to three orders of magnitude faster than the imposed bulk strain rate of the samples and these strain rates are consistent with predictions of the diffusion creep flow law for fine-grained dolomite.
- Transient Creep
- Strain Localization