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Solid Earth An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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doi:10.5194/se-2016-131
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
04 Oct 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper was accepted for the journal Solid Earth (SE).
Cataclastic deformation of triaxially deformed, cemented mudrock (Callovo Oxfordian Clay): an experimental study at the micro/nano scale using BIB-SEM
Guillaume Desbois1, Nadine Höhne1, Janos L. Urai1, Pierre Bésuelle2, and Gioacchino Viggiani3 1Structural Geology, Tectonics and Geomechanics, RWTH Aachen University, Lochnerstrasse 4–2, 52056 Aachen, Germany
2CNRS, 3SR, Grenoble, France
3Université Grenoble Alpes, 3SR, Grenoble, France
Abstract. The macroscopic description of deformation and fluid flow in mudrocks can be improved by a better understanding of microphysical deformation mechanisms. Here we use a combination of Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Broad Ion Beam (BIB) polishing to study the evolution of micro structure in samples of Callovo-Oxfordian Clay that were previously tested in the lab. Digital Image Correlation (DIC) enabled for the measurement of strain fields in the specimens, which were used as a guide to select regions in the sample for BIB-SEM analysis. Microstructures show evidence for dominantly cataclastic mechanisms (intergranular, transgranular, intragranular cracking, grain rotation, clay particle bending) down to nm- scale. At low strain, the dilatant fabric contains individually recognizable open fractures, while at high strain the reworked clay gouge contains broken non-clay grains, with a clear change towards smaller pores than the undeformed material and corresponding resealing of initial fracture porosity.

This study might provide a first step towards a micro scale basis for constitutive models of deformation and fluid flow in cemented mudstones.


Citation: Desbois, G., Höhne, N., Urai, J. L., Bésuelle, P., and Viggiani, G.: Cataclastic deformation of triaxially deformed, cemented mudrock (Callovo Oxfordian Clay): an experimental study at the micro/nano scale using BIB-SEM, Solid Earth Discuss., doi:10.5194/se-2016-131, in review, 2016.
Guillaume Desbois et al.
Guillaume Desbois et al.

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Short summary
This work integrates the measurement of the mechanical and transport properties with microstructures to understand deformation mechanisms in a cemented mudrock. Cataclastic mechanisms are dominant down to nm-scale. At low strain, the fabric contains recognizable open fractures, while at high strain the reworked clay gouge shows resealing of initial fracture porosity. In the future, it will provide a microphysical basis for constitutive models to improve their extrapolation for long timescales.
This work integrates the measurement of the mechanical and transport properties with...
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