Direct Observation of Dissociated Dislocations in Garnet

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Science  18 Dec 1987:
Vol. 238, Issue 4834, pp. 1695-1697
DOI: 10.1126/science.238.4834.1695


Dislocation core structures in garnet [grossularite (Ca2.9FeII0.1)(Al1.9FeIII0.1Si3.0O12] have been examined with near atomic resolution transmission electron microscopy. Dissociated dislocations have been observed as parallel a/4<111> partial dislocations that are separated by stacking faults. The partial dislocations have narrow cores (∼3 burgers vectors), and the stacking fault zone between the narrow partial dislocations is apparently a low-energy configuration that results from the occupancy of previously unfilled dodecahedral and tetrahedral sites. Previous studies of garnet dislocations suggested that dissociation involves departures from garnet stoichiometry (that is, trace amounts of impurities), but evidence of detectable amounts of impurities has not been found even in the highest resolution images. These results have implications for mantle mineral rheology and transformations as well as for ceramics of material science interest.