Syntectonic and Annealing Recrystallization of Fine-Grained Quartz Aggregates

  • H. W. GreenII
  • D. T. Griggs
  • J. M. Christie


This paper presents the results of the first systematic study of preferred orientation in quartz aggregates developed as a result of experimental deformation and recry-stallization. Earlier work led to apparently conflicting results which are mostly resolved in this study. What emerges, however, is a complex picture of several different types of preferred orientation developed under different experimental conditions.

In the a-quartz field, recrystallization during axial compression yields two different preferred orientations: at lower temperatures or faster strain-rates a maximum of c-axes develops parallel to the compression direction, σ1 (c-maximum fabric), and at higher temperatures or slower strain-rates a concentration of the normal to r (1011) develops parallel to σ1 (r-maximum fabric). At intermediate temperatures and strain-rates, the preferred orientations show aspects of both fabric types (composite fabrics). At high temperature and low strain-rate, orthorhombic strain due to temperature gradients produces “crossed girdles” of c-axes intersecting normal to σ1. An extended specimen shows c-axes concentrated at high angles to the extension direction, σ3.

In the ß-quartz field, recrystallization during compression yields a primary concentration of c-axes parallel to σ1 and a secondary concentration normal to σ1 (c ‖ σ1 + c σ1 fabric). One extended specimen shows a girdle of c-axes normal to σ3.

Textural differences in the specimens are found to correlate with the patterns of preferred orientation produced.

Annealing in the a-quartz field of specimens recrystallized during compression caused relatively minor, but significant, changes in the preferred orientations. Annealing of specimens which did not recrystallize during deformation also produced preferred orientations. In the ß-quartz field, annealing of syntectonically recrystallized specimens produced an extreme strenghtening of the c ‖ σ1 component of the preferred orientation and obliteration of the c ⊥ σ1 component. The textures of specimens annealed in the two stability fields are distinctly different.

The development of several preferred orientations, each of which correlates with specific experimental conditions and textural characteristics, indicates that more than one orienting mechanism is involved. A variety of possible mechanisms are discussed in terms of the experimental evidence.

A comparison with natural preferred orientations indicates that the mechanism responsible for development of the r-maximum fabric and the crossed girdles of c-axes probably operates under at least some conditions in nature and is responsible for the development of the crossed-girdle pattern common in metamorphic rocks. The maximum of c-axes normal to a foliation in some granulites may be due to deformation in the β-quartz field.


Prefer Orientation Cylinder Axis Secondary Recrystallization Annealing Recrystallization Specimen Axis 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag, Berlin/Heidelberg 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. W. GreenII
    • 1
  • D. T. Griggs
    • 2
  • J. M. Christie
    • 2
  1. 1.Departments of Geology and MetallurgyCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Geophysics and Planetary PhysicsUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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