How does viscosity contrast influence phase mixing and strain localization?

Andrew Cross, Philip Skemer, Hélène Couvy & Elizabeth Olree
Ultramylonites with well-mixed mineral phases are thought to be an essential feature of Earth-like plate tectonics, because coupled phase mixing and grain boundary pinning enable rocks to deform by grain-size-sensitive, self-softening creep mechanisms over long geologic timescales. In isoviscous two-phase composites (and in the absence of chemical exchange or reaction), bulk “geometric” phase mixing occurs via the sequential formation and disaggregation of compositional layering. However, the effects of viscosity contrast on the mechanism(s) and timescale(s)...
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