Titanium concentration in quartz as a record of multiple deformation mechanisms in an extensional shear zone

William O. Nachlas, Donna L. Whitney, Christian Teyssier, Brian Bagley, Andreas Mulch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Results of high precision analysis of Ti concentration ([Ti]) in quartz representing different recrystallization microstructures in a suite of progressively deformed quartzite mylonites show the effect of recrystallization on distribution of Ti in quartz. Petrographic observations and ion microprobe analysis reveals three texturally and geochemically distinct quartz microstructures in mylonites: (1) cores of recrystallized quartz ribbons preserve the highest [Ti] and are interpreted to have recrystallized via grain boundary migration recrystallization, (2) recrystallized rims and grain margins preserve a lower and more variable [Ti] and are interpreted to reflect the combined influence of subgrain rotation and bulging recrystallization, and (3) neocrystallized quartz precipitated in dilatancy sites has low (∼1 ppm) [Ti], reflecting the Ti content of the syndeformational fluid. Muscovite in nonmylonitic quartzite (at the base of the sampling traverse) is compositionally zoned, whereas muscovite in mylonitic quartzite shows a progressive decreasing in zoning in higher strain samples. Three-dimensional phase distribution mapping using X-ray computed tomography analysis of rock hand samples reveals that Ti-bearing accessory phases are less abundant and more dispersed in higher strained mylonites compared to nonmylonitic quartzite. This study demonstrates the influence of dynamic recrystallization on Ti substitution in quartz and evaluates the Ti buffering capacity of aqueous fluids (meteoric versus metamorphic/magmatic) as well as the distribution and reactivity of Ti-bearing accessory phases in a deforming quartzite. Results of this study suggest that Ti-in-quartz thermobarometry of deformed quartz is a sensitive technique for resolving the multistage history of quartz deformation and recrystallization in crustal shear zones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1374-1397
Number of pages24
JournalGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Shuswap metamorphic core complex
  • Ti-in-quartz
  • dynamic recrystallization
  • extensional shear zone
  • quartz microstructures
  • quartz thermobarometry


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