Deformation and Recrystallization of Pyrite

K. R. McClay and P. G. Ellis
Geology Department, University of London, Goldsmiths' College, Rachel McMillan Building, Creek Road, Deptford, London SE8 3BU

Abstract: A detailed study of pyrite in a number of metamorphosed, stratiform, sediment-hosted Pb-Zn deposits has shown the importance of cataclastic deformation, pressure-solution, and grain growth in the deformation and textural development of pyrite. Primary depositional or early diagenetic microstructures are preserved in pyritic ores deformed or metamorphosed at grades up to mid-upper greenschist facies, whereas at higher temperatures only metablastic or annealed pyrite textures are found. Brittle deformation is found at all metamorphic grades and is favoured by coarse grain-sizes. Pressure-solution is a major deformation mechanism in fine-grained pyritic ores in low-grade metamorphic environments. Grain growth and annealing dominate at higher metamorphic temperatures and are likely to have obliterated any evidence of deformation by dislocation processes. Significant macroscopic ductility of fine-grained pyritic ores in low-grade environments may be accounted for by a combination of pressure-solution, grain boundary sliding, and cataclastic flow.

Mineralogical Magazine; December 1983 v. 47; no. 345; p. 527-538; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1983.047.345.14
© 1983, The Mineralogical Society
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