Microcracking and Healing in Granites: New Evidence from Cathodoluminescence

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Science  03 Aug 1979:
Vol. 205, Issue 4405, pp. 495-497
DOI: 10.1126/science.205.4405.495


Quartz grains in granitic rocks usually have blue cathodoluminescence (CL). Within the blue-luminescing grains, there are often red-luminescing domains which are frequently impossible to detect without CL contrast. This finding suggests that the red-luminescing quartz is sealing preexisting mnicrocracks. The presence of these now-healed microcracks has important implications with respect to the role of pore fluid pressure and fluid transfer in metamorphism, the origih of granites, longperiod crustal deformation, earthquake mechanics, physical properties of rocks, and deep-seated geothermal energy.