The effects of non-hydrostatic stress on the structure and properties of alpha-quartz

  • M. MurriEmail author
  • M. Alvaro
  • R. J. Angel
  • M. Prencipe
  • B. D. Mihailova
Original Paper


The study of the effects of non-hydrostatic stresses on rock-forming minerals is fundamental for understanding how minerals respond to tectonic stresses in the Earth’s interior. Larger deviatoric stresses of the order of GPa can arise from physical interaction between minerals (e.g. host–inclusion systems, compositional gradients) at the micrometric scale, even if at the large-scale large stresses are annealed by plastic flows. Thus, experimental data under hydrostatic pressure do not provide us access to all the possible modifications and structural changes experienced by minerals subjected to deviatoric stresses. Therefore, we carried out ab initio hybrid Hartree–Fock/Density Functional Theory simulations to determine the properties of alpha-quartz, since it is one of the most abundant minerals in the Earth’s crust with a very simple chemistry and structure. We calculated its structure, elastic parameters and Raman-active vibrational modes as a function of different applied strains, which allow us to show how phonon frequencies and structural parameters (bond lengths and angles) are affected by deviatoric stress conditions rather than hydrostatic pressure.


Quartz Deviatoric stress Grüneisen tensor Raman spectroscopy Ab initio HF/DFT 



This project received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program grant agreement 714936 and from the M.I.U.R.–F.A.R.E–IMPACT (n. R164WEJAHH) grant awarded to Matteo Alvaro. The manuscript has greatly benefited from the reviews of Mario Tribaudino and one anonymous reviewer.

Supplementary material

269_2018_1018_MOESM1_ESM.cif (112 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (CIF 111 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Murri
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. Alvaro
    • 1
  • R. J. Angel
    • 1
  • M. Prencipe
    • 2
  • B. D. Mihailova
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Earth and Environmental SciencesUniversity of PaviaPaviaItaly
  2. 2.Earth Sciences DepartmentUniversity of TorinoTurinItaly
  3. 3.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany

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