Microfabric diversity and grain shape analysis of fault rocks from the selected areas of the Western Tatra Mountains

Maciej Kania


Fault rocks in brittle and brittle-ductile shear zones played a key role in the evolution of the Western Tatra Mountains crystalline rocks (Poland–Slovakia). Microfabrics of these rocks, including grain shape analyses, were investigated in the six areas of the Western Tatra Mountains. Based on studies of thin sections, 14 types of fault rock microfabric are distinguished, according to the following criteria: (a) the presence and abundance levels of a cataclastic matrix and (b) the presence and form of a preferred orientation features. General tendencies observed in these areas indicate southwards increasing non-coaxial deformation as well as the domination of ultracataclasites or ultramylonites to phyllonites in areas with negative relief (e.g., sedlo Zabrat’ Pass, Dziurawa Przełęcz Pass). A model of shear zone evolution embracing following three stages is proposed: (1) deformation partitioning and block-controlled cataclastic flow, (2) matrix-controlled cataclastic flow, (3) selective leaching and deposition of silica, leading to the formation of softened and hardened deformation domains respectively. These microstructural observations were supported by statistical analyses of the grain shape indicators (compactness, isometry, ellipticity, solidity, convexity). Two trends of relationships between compactness and convexity were noted: the first, horizontal on the correlation diagrams, was interpreted as an effect of rapid cataclasis and then sericitization, the second, with a strongly negative correlation coefficient, was considered as an effect of long-term cataclastic flow. The different microfabric data and microstructural interpretations described in this paper are consistent with a new model of the tectonic history of the Western Tatra Mountains evolution, with an important role for a non-coaxial deformation during Alpine orogeny in brittle and brittle-ductile conditions.



microfabrics; grain shape analysis; fault rocks; shear zones; Western Carpathians; Western Tatra Mountains

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7306/gq.1129


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