In order to characterize the µm-to-nm structures related to operation of pressure solution on phase boundaries in naturally deformed rocks, we have performed a detailed focused ion beam/transmission electron microscopy study in ultramylonite samples from South Armorican Shear Zone (France) that focused on grain boundary scale. We have studied phase boundaries between quartz, K-feldspar and white mica in both 2D and 3D and compare our evidences with theoretical dissolution precipitation models in the current literature. The dissolution (re)precipitation processes lead to the development of different features at different phase boundaries. In both quartz–white mica and quartz–K-feldspar phase boundaries, voids were ubiquitously observed. These voids have different shapes, and the development of some of them is crystallographically controlled. In addition, part of these voids might be filled with vermiculite. Amorphous leached layers with kaolinite composition were observed at the boundaries of K-feldspar–quartz and K-feldspar–white mica. The development of different features along the phase boundaries is mainly controlled by the crystallography of the phases sharing a common interface, together with the presence of fluids that either leaches or directly dissolve the mineral phases. In addition, the local dislocation density in quartz may play an important role during pressure solution. We suggest that the nanoscale observations of the quartz–white mica phase boundaries show direct evidence for operation of island-and-channel model as described in Wassmann and Stockhert (Tectonophysics 608:1–29, 2013), while K-feldspar–quartz phase boundaries represents amorphous layers formed via interface-coupled dissolution reprecipitation as described by Hellmann et al. (Chem Geol 294–295:203–216, 2012).
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Anja Schreiber is thanked for precise TEM foil preparation. This study was performed during the Erasmus Practical Placement provided by Charles University that allowed Z. Bukovská to work at the GFZ Potsdam, and the samples were collected during the field work supported by Charles University Grant Agency Project Nr.504112. We are grateful to J.P. Gratier, R. Wintsch and two anonymous reviewers for constructive comments that helped to improve this manuscript and to G. Moore for editorial work.
Communicated by Gordon Moore.
Electronic supplementary material
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3D slice-and-view movie along the quartz–white mica interface. The movie shows an interface of quartz (left) and white mica (right). The dissolution processes formed numerous voids along the phase boundary of the two mineral phases, which are opening and closing–documenting 3D character of the voids. Many of the voids are formed at lower left part, where the protruding voids move into the quartz from the interface of mica. Small grain of K-feldspar (white) occurs along the grain boundary of two quartz grains and in its vicinity another mica grain is grown. Just at the beginning of K-feldspar slicing, the pronounced opened grain boundary in between two quartz grains is present. With the growth of mica, numerous grain boundaries are more or less opened. Some of the voids are filled with late vermiculite (as shown on Fig. 4, 5)(MPG 6259 kb)
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Bukovská, Z., Wirth, R. & Morales, L.F.G. Pressure solution in rocks: focused ion beam/transmission electron microscopy study on orthogneiss from South Armorican Shear Zone, France. Contrib Mineral Petrol 170, 31 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00410-015-1186-8
- Pressure solution
- Dissolution precipitation
- Transmission electron microscopy
- Focused ion beam
- Island-and-channel model
- Leached layer