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Protomylonite evolution potentially revealed by the 3D depiction and fractal analysis of chemical data from a feldspar

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Type of Publication:
Słaby, Ewa; Śmigielski, Michał; Domonik, Andrzej; Majzner, Katarzyna; Motuza, Gediminas; Götze, Jens; Simon, Klaus; Moszumańska, Izabela; Kruszewski, Łukasz; Rydelek, Paweł
Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
An alkali feldspar megacryst from a protomylonite has been studied using laser ablation-ICP-mass spectrometry combined with cathodoluminescence imaging, Raman spectroscopy, and electron probe microanalysis. The aim was to determine the original (magmatic) geochemical pattern of the crystal and the changes introduced by protomylonitization. Digital concentration-distribution models, derivative gradient models, and fractal statistics, e.g., Hurst-exponent values are used in a novel way to reveal subtle changes in the trace-element composition of the feldspar. Formation of the crystal is reflected in a slightly chaotic trace-element (Ba, Sr, and Rb) distribution pattern that is more or less characterized by continuous development from a fairly homogeneous environment. Derivative gradient models demonstrate a microdomain pattern. Fractal statistics show that element behavior was changeable, with Ba and Sr always more persistent (continuing) and Rb always less persistent, with the latter showing a tendency to migrate. The variations in the Hurst exponent are, however, too large to be explained by magmatic differentiation alone. The observed element behavior may be explained by structural changes revealed by Raman spectroscopy and CL. In high-strain domains, T–O–T modes become stronger for Si–O–Al than Al–O–Al linkages. Increasing amounts of Al–O−–Al defects are demonstrated by cathodoluminescence. Both may result from small-distance diffusion creep, making the crystal geochemical pattern slightly patchy. In turn, the marginal part of the megacryst has a mosaic of randomly orientated, newly crystallized K-feldspars. The re-growth is confirmed by trace-element distribution patterns and fractal statistics which identify an abrupt change in the transformation environment. The novel set of tools used in this study reveals a complicated history of megacryst formation and transformation that otherwise would be difficult to unravel and decipher.
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