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Viscoplastic Rheology of α-Quartz Investigated by Nanoindentation

Strozewski, Benjamin and Sly, Michael K. and Flores, Katharine M. and Skemer, Philip (2021) Viscoplastic Rheology of α-Quartz Investigated by Nanoindentation. Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth, 126 (9). Art. No. e2021JB022229. ISSN 2169-9313. doi:10.1029/2021jb022229.

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Quartz is an abundant mineral in Earth's crust whose mechanical behavior plays a significant role in the deformation of the continental lithosphere. However, the viscoplastic rheology of quartz is difficult to measure experimentally at low temperatures without high confining pressures due to the tendency of quartz (and other geologic materials) to fracture under these conditions. Instrumented nanoindentation experiments inhibit cracking even at ambient conditions, by imposing locally high mean stress, allowing for the measurement of the viscoplastic rheology of hard materials over a wide range of temperatures. Here we measure the indentation hardness of four synthetic quartz specimens and one natural quartz specimen with varying water contents over a temperature range of 23°C to 500°C. Yield stress, which is calculated from hardness but is model dependent, is fit to a constitutive flow law for low-temperature plasticity to estimate the athermal Peierls stress of quartz. Below 500°C, the yield stresses presented here are lower than those obtained by extrapolating a flow law constrained by experiments at higher temperatures irrespective of the applied model. Indentation hardness and yield stress depend weakly on crystallographic orientation but show no dependence on water content.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Strozewski, Benjamin0000-0003-2006-8160
Skemer, Philip0000-0002-6702-1098
Additional Information:© 2021. American Geophysical Union. Issue Online: 14 September 2021; Version of Record online: 14 September 2021; Accepted manuscript online: 29 August 2021; Manuscript accepted: 25 August 2021; Manuscript revised: 28 July 2021; Manuscript received: 13 April 2021. This work is funded by NSF EAR-1726165 to Skemer and Flores, a grant from the McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, and a Summer Undergraduate Research Award (SURA) awarded to Strozewski by the Office of Undergraduate Research at Washington University in St. Louis. Instrument support is provided by the Institute of Materials Science and Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. Clive Jones provided essential input and assistance with SIMS analysis. The authors thank Jun Muto for providing the four synthetic samples and for his generous input into this project. The authors also thank Alberto Ceccetto, Luca Menegon, and Lars Hansen for sharing a pre-print of their work, and for helpful discussions. Comments from Andreas Kronenberg and an anonymous reviewer improved the clarity of the manuscript considerably. Data Availability Statement: All data used to support the findings of this work can be accessed through the Washington University in St. Louis Digital Research Materials Repository: (doi:10.7936/av98-vn87).
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Washington UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:rheology; crust and lithosphere; quartz; nanoindentation; low-temperature plasticity
Issue or Number:9
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210930-220329427
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Official Citation:Strozewski, B., Sly, M. K., Flores, K. M., & Skemer, P. (2021). Viscoplastic rheology of α-quartz investigated by nanoindentation. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 126, e2021JB022229.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:111141
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:04 Oct 2021 20:50
Last Modified:05 Oct 2021 14:55

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