Improved texture measurement during deformation of polycrystalline olivine at high pressure

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Nathaniel A Dixon, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW, Australia, William B Durham, MIT 54-720, Cambridge, MA, United States, David L Kohlstedt, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN, United States and Simon A Hunt, University College London, London, United Kingdom
Unresolved issues in geodynamics demand a better understanding of the bulk mechanical properties of mantle minerals, and also careful analysis of the complex lattice-scale physics behind these properties. Instead of probing the mechanical properties of a material by testing the relationship between “bulk” stress and strain rate in a sample at a variety of conditions (varying P, T, water content, and other environmental variables), synchrotron x-ray diffraction now allows us to observe, in situ, the active deformation physics in much greater detail. This includes in situ monitoring of plastic anisotropy and local stress heterogeneity, grain size, the development of lattice-preferred orientation (LPO), and even the partitioning of stress between multiple phases in the same polycrystalline sample. Here, we present results obtained with the use of the MTEX toolbox for Matlab and energy-dispersive x-ray diffraction, showing the in situ development of LPO in deforming dry San Carlos olivine samples, at pressures from 2-7 GPa. These measurements hint at the active dislocation mechanisms for these conditions. The ability generate a broad range of mantle conditions in the D-DIA, while precisely measuring the structure and conditions within our sample at the grain and lattice scale, demonstrates the promising future of deformation experiments as a means to understanding the evolution of the deep Earth.