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Validation of subgrain-size piezometry as a tool for measuring stress in polymineralic rocks
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  • Rellie M Goddard,
  • Kathryn Kumamoto,
  • Lars Hansen,
  • David Wallis,
  • Andrew James Cross,
  • Christopher A. Thom
Rellie M Goddard
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Kathryn Kumamoto
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
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Lars Hansen
University of Minnesota
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David Wallis
University of Cambridge
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Andrew James Cross
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
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Christopher A. Thom
University of California, Santa Cruz
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We deformed samples with varied proportions of olivine and orthopyroxene in a deformation-DIA apparatus to test the applicability of subgrain-size piezometry to polymineralic rocks. We measured the stress within each phase in situ via X-ray diffraction during deformation at a synchrotron beamline. Subgrain-size piezometry was subsequently applied to the recovered samples to estimate the stress that each phase supported during deformation. For olivine, the final in-situ stresses are consistent with the stresses estimated via subgrain-size piezometry, both in monomineralic and polymineralic samples, despite non-steady state conditions. However, stress estimates from subgrain-size piezometry do not reliably record the in-situ stress in samples with grain sizes that are too small for extensive subgrain-boundary formation. For orthopyroxene, subgrain boundaries are typically sparse due to the low strains attained by orthopyroxene in olivine-orthopyroxene mixtures. Where sufficient substructure does exist, our data supports the use of the subgrain-size piezometer on orthopyroxene. These results do, however, suggest that care should be taken when applying subgrain-size piezometry to strong minerals that may have experienced little strain. Stresses estimated by X-ray diffraction also offer insight into stress partitioning between phases. In mixtures deformed at mean stresses > 5 GPa, orthopyroxene supports stresses greater than those supported by olivine. This stress partitioning is consistent with established theory that predicts a slightly higher stress within a ‘strong’ phase contained in a material consisting of interconnected weak layers. Overall, these results demonstrate that subgrain-size piezometry is a valuable tool for quantifying the stress state of polymineralic rocks.
04 Oct 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
17 Oct 2023Published in ESS Open Archive