Measurement and correlation of microstructures: the case of foliation intersection axes

Stallard, A.R., Hickey, K.A., and Upton, G.J.G. (2003) Measurement and correlation of microstructures: the case of foliation intersection axes. Journal of Metamorphic Geology, 21 (3). pp. 241-252.

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Abstract

Recent studies have used the relative rotation axis of sigmoidal and spiral-shaped inclusion trails, known as Foliation Inflexion/Intersection Axis (FIA), to investigate geological processes such as fold mechanisms and porphyroblast growth. The geological usefulness of this method depends upon the accurate measurement of FIA orientations and correct correlation of temporally related FIAs. This paper uses new data from the Canton Schist to assess the variation in FIA orientations within and between samples, and evaluates criteria for correlating FIAs. For the first time, an entire data set of FIA measurements is published, and data are presented in a way that reflects the variation in FIA orientations within individual samples and provides an indication of the reliability of the data. Analysis of 61 FIA trends determined from the Canton Schist indicate a minimum intrasample range in FIA orientations of 30°. Three competing models are presented for correlation of these FIAs, and each of the models employ different correlation criteria. Correlation of FIAs in Model 1 is based on relative timing and textural criteria, while Model 2 uses relative timing, orientation and patterns of changing FIA orientations, and Model 3 uses relative timing and FIA orientation as correlation criteria. Importantly, the three models differ in the spread of FIA orientations within individual sets, and the number of sets distinguished in the data. Relative timing is the most reliable criterion for correlation, followed by textural criteria and patterns of changing FIA orientations from core to rim of porphyroblasts. It is proposed that within a set of temporally related FIAs, the typical spread of orientations involves clustering of data in a 60° range, but outliers occur at other orientations including near-normal to the peak distribution. Consequently, in populations of FIA data that contain a wide range of orientations, correlation on the basis of orientation is unreliable in the absence of additional criteria. The results of this study suggest that FIAs are best used as semiquantitative indicators of bulk trends rather than an exact measurement for the purpose of quantitative analyses.

Item ID: 13781
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Canton Schist; correlation; foliation intersection axes; porphyroblast
ISSN: 0263-4929
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2010 01:50
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040312 Structural Geology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences @ 100%
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