Open Access

Tribochemical wearing in S-C mylonites and its implication to lithosphere stress level

Earth, Planets and Space201454:BF03353309

Received: 15 January 2002

Accepted: 28 August 2002

Published: 26 June 2014


A new approach for revealing the brittle origin of C-surfaces as localized high shear strain zones in S-C mylonites (mylonites with C-surfaces cutting through a mylonitic S-foliation) is presented. A compiled worldwide catalog of width (W) and displacement (D) data for shear zones indicates that ductile mylonites show a constant W/D ratio of 10−0.3 and ratios of brittle ‘cataclasites’ vary in magnitude from 10−1 to 10−3, implying that the ratio is a diagnosis for discriminating ductile and brittle shear zones. A newly measured W-D data of shear displaced minerals along C-surfaces in granitic S-C mylonites from the Hatagawa shear zone in northeast Japan is added on the worldwide W-D catalog, being plotted on a brittle origin with the high W/D ratio of 10−1.5. Using this result and a tribochemical wear theory which accounts for wear formation under hydrothermal conditions, C-surfaces in the S-C mylonite might have been formed by cataclastic deformation under the lithosphere stress level of ca. 300 MPa at temperature of 400°C with water for granite. This result suggests a high lithosphere stress level at the depth of the S-C mylonite formation where deformation is predominantly plastic.