Strength of Dry and Wet Quartz in the Low-Temperature Plasticity Regime: Insights From Nanoindentation

Alberto Ceccato, Luca Menegon, Lars N. Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

Abstract

At low-temperature and high-stress conditions, quartz deformation is controlled by the kinetics of dislocation glide, that is, low-temperature plasticity (LTP). To investigate the relationship between intracrystalline H2O content and the yield strength of quartz LTP, we have integrated spherical and Berkovich nanoindentation tests at room temperature on natural quartz with electron backscatter diffraction and secondary-ion mass spectrometry measurements of intracrystalline H2O content. Dry (<20 wt ppm H2O) and wet (20–100 wt ppm H2O) crystals exhibit comparable indentation hardness. Quartz yield strength, which is proportional to indentation hardness, seems to be unaffected by the intracrystalline H2O content when deformed under room temperature, high-stress conditions. Pre-indentation intracrystalline microstructure may have provided a high density of dislocation sources, influencing the first increments of low-temperature plastic strains. Our results have implications for fault strength at the frictional-viscous transition and during transient deformation by LTP, such as seismogenic loading and post-seismic creep.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2021GL094633
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume49
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 28 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the FP7 Marie Curie CIG “EVOCOS” to LM. Cees‐Jan De Hoog and the staff at the NERC Ion Microprobe Facility in Edinburgh are thanked for their support. The Authors thank Phil Skemer, Ben Strozewski, and Christopher Thom for fruitful discussions, and the two anonymous reviewers who provided very constructive comments and inputs. The authors declare they have no perceived financial conflicts of interests with respect to the results of this paper. Open access funding provided by Universita degli Studi di Bologna within the CRUI‐CARE Agreement.

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the FP7 Marie Curie CIG ?EVOCOS? to LM. Cees-Jan De Hoog and the staff at the NERC Ion Microprobe Facility in Edinburgh are thanked for their support. The Authors thank Phil Skemer, Ben Strozewski, and Christopher Thom for fruitful discussions, and the two anonymous reviewers who provided very constructive comments and inputs. The authors declare they have no perceived financial conflicts of interests with respect to the results of this paper. Open access funding provided by Universita degli Studi di Bologna within the CRUI-CARE Agreement.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022. The Authors.

Keywords

  • dislocation glide
  • hydrolytic weakening
  • low-temperature plasticity
  • nanoindentation
  • quartz

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