Observation of Grain Rotations to Elucidate the Development of Crystal Preferred Orientation during Diffusion Creep

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Genta Maruyama and Takehiko Hiraga, Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
The seismic anisotropy in Earth’s upper mantle is explained by the crystallographic preferred orientation (CPO) of rock-forming minerals, which have anisotropic elasticity. Our team showed that the CPO of forsterite is produced even during diffusion creep (Miyazaki et al. 2013). The purpose of this study is to understand the mechanism of the development of CPO of forsterite by observations of samples surface after the sample deformation where the fine-scale strain markers were imposed.We deformed cylindrical polycrystalline samples of synthesized forsterite plus 20 vol. % diopside at its diffusion creep regime. We polished the lateral side of the sample where we imposed grooves parallel to the compression axis of the sample using a focused ion beam. These marker lines allow us to observe grain rotation due to a plastic deformation of the sample. After the high temperature compression creep experiment under atmosphere, we observed the marker lines under scanning electron microscope.We succeeded to observe the marker lines after the deformation. Strain of bulk sample and of the marker line exhibit the similar value indicating the similar deformation proceeded both at bulk and surface regions of the samples. Grain rotation, which is identified by misfits of the markers at grain boundaries and rotation of intra-granular markers, were observed in all the samples. No distortion of the markers within the grains was found indicating the absence of intragranular deformation process such as a glide of dislocations; however, in the samples deformed at high stress (~300 MPa), curved intra-granular markers were observed, which is consistent with dislocation activity at high stress condition. Our results show the significant grain rotation, which is necessary process for the development of CPO, during diffusion creep as well as the ability of identification of the deformation mechanism of the bulk sample by the observation of the sample surface.