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

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doi:10.5194/se-2017-27
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Method article
15 Mar 2017
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper is under review for the journal Solid Earth (SE).
Micro-scale and nano-scale strain mapping techniques applied to creep of rocks
Alejandra Quintanilla-Terminel1, Mark Zimmerman1, Brian Evans2, and David Kohlstedt1 1Department of Earth Sciences, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
2Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA
Abstract. Usually, several deformation mechanisms interact to accommodate plastic deformation. Quantifying the contribution of each to the total strain is necessary to bridge from observations of microstructures to geomechanical descriptions and, thus, is a critical component in the extrapolation from laboratory data to field observations. Here, we describe experimental and computational techniques involved in micro-scale strain mapping (MSSM), which allows strain produced during high-pressure, high-temperature deformation experiments to be tracked with high resolution. MSSM relies on the analysis of relative displacement of initially regularly spaced markers after deformation. We present two lithography techniques used to pattern rock substrates at different scales: photolithography and electron-beam lithography. Further, we discuss the challenges of applying the MSSM technique to samples used in high-temperature and pressure experiments. We applied the MSSM technique to a study of strain partitioning during creep of Carrara marble and grain boundary sliding in San Carlos olivine, synthetic forsterite, and Solnhofen limestone at a confining pressure, Pc, of 300 MPa and homologous temperatures, T/Tm, of 0.3 to 0.6. The MSSM technique works very well up to temperatures of 700 ÂșC. Experimental developments described here show promising results for higher temperature applications.

Citation: Quintanilla-Terminel, A., Zimmerman, M., Evans, B., and Kohlstedt, D.: Micro-scale and nano-scale strain mapping techniques applied to creep of rocks, Solid Earth Discuss., doi:10.5194/se-2017-27, in review, 2017.
Alejandra Quintanilla-Terminel et al.
Alejandra Quintanilla-Terminel et al.
Alejandra Quintanilla-Terminel et al.

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Short summary
Accurate models describing natural deformation need to address different scales to adequately incorporate important microscale properties of the rocks. However, following strain accommodation at a range of scales during rock deformation is an experimental challenge. We developed a technique allowing to map strain down to the microscale. This technique was successfully applied to high-pressure, high-temperature deformation experiments, and could be applied to a wide variety of geomaterials.
Accurate models describing natural deformation need to address different scales to adequately...
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