The effect of pre-tectonic reaction and annealing extent on behaviour during subsequent deformation: insights from paired shear zones in the lower crust of Fiordland, New Zealand

J R Smith, S Piazolo, N R Daczko, L Evans

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Granulite facies pargasite orthogneiss is partially to completely reacted to garnet granulite either side of narrow (<20 mm) felsic dykes, in Fiordland, New Zealand, forming ~10-80 mm wide garnet reaction zones. The metamorphic reaction changed the abundance of minerals, and their shape and grain size distribution. The extent of reaction and annealing (temperature-related coarsening and nucleation) is greatest close to the dykes, whereas further away the reaction is incomplete. As a consequence, grain size and the abundance of garnet decreases away from the felsic dykes over a few centimetres. The aspect ratios of clusters of S1 pyroxene and pargasite in the orthogneiss, which are variably reacted to post-S1 garnet, decrease from high in the host, to near equidimensional close to the dyke. Post-reaction deformation localized in the fine-grained partially reacted areas. This produced a pattern of 'paired' shear zones located at the outer parts of the garnet reaction zone. Our study shows that grain size sensitive deformation occurs where the grain size is sufficiently reduced by metamorphic reaction. The weakening of the rock due to the change in grain size distribution outweighs the addition of nominally stronger garnet to the assemblage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-577
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Metamorphic Geology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Grain boundary sliding
  • Metamorphic reaction
  • Numerical modelling
  • Rheology
  • Strain localization

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