skip to main content

Attention:

The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 5:00 PM ET until 11:00 PM ET on Friday, June 21 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Title: Amorphization and Plasticity of Olivine During Low‐Temperature Micropillar Deformation Experiments
Abstract

Experimentally quantifying the viscoplastic rheology of olivine at the high stresses and low temperatures of the shallow lithosphere is challenging due to olivine's propensity to deform by brittle mechanisms at these conditions. In this study, we use microscale uniaxial compression tests to investigate the rheology of an olivine single crystal at room pressure and temperature. Pillars with nominal diameters of 1.25 μm were prepared using a focused ion beam milling technique and were subjected to sustained axial stresses of several gigapascal. The majority of the pillars failed after dwell times ranging from several seconds to a few hours. However, several pillars exhibited clear evidence of plastic deformation without failure after 4–8 hr under load. The corresponding creep strain rates are estimated to be on the order of 10−6to 10−7 s−1. The uniaxial stresses required to achieve this deformation (4.1–4.4 GPa) are in excellent agreement with complementary data obtained using nanoindentation techniques. Scanning transmission electron microscopy observations indicate that deformation occurred along amorphous shear bands within the deformed pillars. Electron energy loss spectroscopy measurements revealed that the bands are enriched in Fe and depleted in Mg. We propose that inhomogeneities in the cation distribution in olivine concentrate stress and promote the amorphization of the Fe‐rich regions. The time dependence of catastrophic failure events suggests that the amorphous bands must grow to some critical length scale to generate an unstable defect, such as a shear crack.

 
more » « less
Award ID(s):
1726165
NSF-PAR ID:
10452502
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Volume:
125
Issue:
5
ISSN:
2169-9313
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Almahata Sitta (AhS), an anomalous polymict ureilite, is the first meteorite observed to originate from a spectrally classified asteroid (2008TC3). However, correlating properties of the meteorite with those of the asteroid is not straightforward because the AhS stones are diverse types. Of those studied prior to this work, 70–80% are ureilites (achondrites) and 20–30% are various types of chondrites. Asteroid 2008TC3was a heterogeneous breccia that disintegrated in the atmosphere, with its clasts landing on Earth as individual stones and most of its mass lost. We describe AhS 91A and AhS 671, which are the first AhS stones to show contacts between ureilitic and chondritic materials and provide direct information about the structure and composition of asteroid 2008TC3. AhS 91A and AhS 671 are friable breccias, consisting of a C1 lithology that encloses rounded to angular clasts (<10 μm to 3 mm) of olivine, pyroxenes, plagioclase, graphite, and metal‐sulfide, as well as chondrules (~130–600 μm) and chondrule fragments. The C1 material consists of fine‐grained phyllosilicates (serpentine and saponite) and amorphous material, magnetite, breunnerite, dolomite, fayalitic olivine (Fo 28‐42), an unidentified Ca‐rich silicate phase, Fe,Ni sulfides, and minor Ca‐phosphate and ilmenite. It has similarities toCI1 but shows evidence of heterogeneous thermal metamorphism. Its bulk oxygen isotope composition (δ18O = 13.53‰, δ17O = 8.93‰) is unlike that of any known chondrite, but similar to compositions of severalCC‐like clasts in typical polymict ureilites. Its Cr isotope composition is unlike that of any known meteorite. The enclosed clasts and chondrules do not belong to the C1 lithology. The olivine (Fo 75‐88), pyroxenes (pigeonite of Wo ~10 and orthopyroxene of Wo ~4.6), plagioclase, graphite, and some metal‐sulfide are ureilitic, based on mineral compositions, textures, and oxygen isotope compositions, and represent at least six distinct ureilitic lithologies. The chondrules are probably derived from type 3OCand/orCC, based on mineral and oxygen isotope compositions. Some of the metal‐sulfide clasts are derived fromEC. AhS 91A and AhS 671 are plausible representatives of the bulk of the asteroid that was lost. Reflectance spectra of AhS 91A are dark (reflectance ~0.04–0.05) and relatively featureless inVNIR, and have an ~2.7 μm absorption band due toOHin phyllosilicates. Spectral modeling, using mixtures of laboratoryVNIRreflectance spectra of AhS stones to fit the F‐type spectrum of the asteroid, suggests that 2008TC3consisted mainly of ureilitic and AhS 91A‐like materials, with as much as 40–70% of the latter, and <10% ofOC,EC, and other meteorite types. The bulk density of AhS 91A (2.35 ± 0.05 g cm−3) is lower than bulk densities of other AhS stones, and closer to estimates for the asteroid (~1.7–2.2 g cm−3). Its porosity (36%) is near the low end of estimates for the asteroid (33–50%), suggesting significant macroporosity. The textures of AhS 91A and AhS 671 (finely comminuted clasts of disparate materials intimately mixed) support formation of 2008TC3in a regolith environment. AhS 91A and AhS 671 could represent a volume of regolith formed when aCC‐like body impacted into already well‐gardened ureilitic + impactor‐derived debris. AhS 91A bulk samples do not show a solar wind component, so they represent subsurface layers. AhS 91A has a lower cosmic ray exposure (CRE) age (~5–9 Ma) than previously studied AhS stones (11–22 Ma). The spread inCREages argues for irradiation in a regolith environment. AhS 91A and AhS 671 show that ureilitic asteroids could have detectable ~2.7 μm absorption bands.

     
    more » « less
  2. Deep-focus earthquakes that occur at 350–660 km, where pressures p =12-23 GPa and temperature T =1800-2000 K, are generally assumed to be caused by olivine→spinel phase transformation, see pioneering works [1–10]. However, there are many existing puzzles: (a) What are the mechanisms for jump from geological 10−17−10−15 s−1 to seismic 10−103s−1(see [3]) strain rates? Is it possible without phase transformation? (b) How does metastable olivine, which does not completely transform to spinel at high temperature and deeply in the region of stability of spinel for over the million years, suddenly transforms during seconds and generates seismic strain rates 10−103s−1 that produce strong seismic waves? (c) How to connect deviatorically dominated seismic signals with volume-change dominated transformation strain during phase transformations [9,11]? Here we introduce a combination of several novel concepts that allow us to resolve the above puzzles quantitatively. We treat the transformation in olivine like plastic strain-induced (instead of pressure/stress-induced) and find an analytical 3D solution for coupled deformation-transformation-heating processes in a shear band. This solution predicts conditions for severe (singular) transformation-induced plasticity (TRIP) and self-blown-up deformation-transformation-heating process due to positive thermomechanochemical feedback between TRIP and strain-induced transformation. In nature, this process leads to temperature in a band exceeding the unstable stationary temperature, above which the self-blown-up shear-heating process in the shear band occurs after finishing the phase transformation. Without phase transformation and TRIP, significant temperature and strain rate increase is impossible. Due to the much smaller band thickness in the laboratory, heating within the band does not occur, and plastic flow after the transformation is very limited. Our findings change the main concepts in studying the initiation of the deep-focus earthquakes and phase transformations during plastic flow in geophysics in general. The latter may change the interpretation of different geological phenomena, e.g., the possibility of the appearance of microdiamond directly in the cold Earth crust within shear-bands [12] during tectonic activities without subduction to the mantle and uplifting. Developed theory of the self-blown-up transformation-TRIP-heating process is applicable outside geophysics for various processes in materials under pressure and shear, e.g., for new routes of material synthesis [12,13], friction and wear, surface treatment, penetration of the projectiles and meteorites, and severe plastic deformation and mechanochemical technologies. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Deep-focus earthquakes that occur at 350–660 km are assumed to be caused by olivine → spinel phase transformation (PT). However, there are many existing puzzles: (a) What are the mechanisms for jump from geological 10−17 − 10−15 s−1to seismic 10 − 103 s−1strain rates? Is it possible without PT? (b) How does metastable olivine, which does not completely transform to spinel for over a million years, suddenly transform during seconds? (c) How to connect shear-dominated seismic signals with volume-change-dominated PT strain? Here, we introduce a combination of several novel concepts that resolve the above puzzles quantitatively. We treat the transformation in olivine like plastic strain-induced (instead of pressure/stress-induced) and find an analytical 3D solution for coupled deformation-transformation-heating in a shear band. This solution predicts conditions for severe (singular) transformation-induced plasticity (TRIP) and self-blown-up deformation-transformation-heating process due to positive thermomechanochemical feedback between TRIP and strain-induced transformation. This process leads to temperature in a band, above which the self-blown-up shear-heating process in the shear band occurs after finishing the PT. Our findings change the main concepts in studying the initiation of the deep-focus earthquakes and PTs during plastic flow in geophysics in general.

     
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    Flexure occurs on intermediate geologic timescales (∼1 Myr) due to volcanic‐island building at the Island of Hawaii, and the deformational response of the lithosphere is simultaneously elastic, plastic, and ductile. At shallow depths and low temperatures, elastic deformation transitions to frictional failure on faults where stresses exceed a threshold value, and this complex rheology controls the rate of deformation manifested by earthquakes. In this study, we estimate the seismic strain rate based on earthquakes recorded between 1960 and 2019 at Hawaii, and the estimated strain rate with 10−18–10−15s−1in magnitude exhibits a local minimum or neutral bending plane at 15 km depth within the lithosphere. In comparison, flexure and internal deformation of the lithosphere are modeled in 3D viscoelastic loading models where deformation at shallow depths is accommodated by frictional sliding on faults and limited by the frictional coefficient (μf), and at larger depths by low‐temperature plasticity and high‐temperature creep. Observations of flexure and the seismic strain rate are best‐reproduced by models withμf = 0.3 ± 0.1 and modified laboratory‐derived low‐temperature plasticity. Results also suggest strong lateral variations in the frictional strength of faults beneath Hawaii. Our models predict a radial pattern of compressive stress axes relative to central Hawaii consistent with observations of earthquake pressure (P) axes. We demonstrate that the dip angle of this radial axis is essential to discerning a change in the curvature of flexure, and therefore has implications for constraining lateral variations in lithospheric strength.

     
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    The microstructural properties of deep arc cumulates (arclogites) are poorly understood, but are essential in gaining a comprehensive picture of the rheology of continental lithosphere. Here, we analyze 16 arclogite xenoliths, comprising a low MgO and a high MgO suite, from Arizona, USA using electron backscatter diffraction to map microstructures, clinopyroxene shape preferred orientations (SPO), and clinopyroxene crystallographic preferred orientations (CPO). The lower pressure (∼1 GPa) low MgO arclogites show a variety of different clinopyroxene fabrics (S, L, and LS‐type), whereas the high pressure (>2 GPa) high MgO arclogites show predominantly LS‐type fabrics. Furthermore, clinopyroxenes in low MgO arclogites all show a pronounced correspondence between the long axis of their grain shape ellipsoids with the [001] crystal direction, indicating an SPO control on the CPO. In contrast, high MgO arclogite clinopyroxenes lack such a correspondence. We propose that both arclogite types originated as igneous cumulates, consistent with previous studies, but that the high MgO suite experienced substantial recrystallization which diminished the original igneous SPO‐induced CPO. Using strain rates appropriate for arc settings, we calculate a strength profile for the lithosphere and argue that the deepest arclogite textures are consistent with lithospheric foundering through ductile deformation under high shear strain (10−14–10−12 s−1). Our study shows that there is a high degree of shear strain localization in deep arc roots while shallower portions are relatively undeformed.

     
    more » « less