Microstructures play a fundamental role in deciphering the rheology of the lithosphere and with that lithospheric tectonics. They represent the link between laboratory experiments and natural deformation. The modes of accommodation of large strains in the lithosphere can be typically deduced from detailed inspection of microstructures. Using microstructures, processes and mechanisms at the grain-scale are inferred, that ultimately determine plate-scale tectonic movements. Plate boundary interactions commonly involve the development of localized high-strain zones, i.e. shear zones, in which brittle-viscous deformation mechanisms can be observed. The interplay between these different regimes results in the development of zones of major weakening within the Earth’s crust that are thought to exert a strong control on the way strain is distributed/localized and on the overall strength evolution of the lithosphere.
In this session we invite contributions that address the links between microstructures and large-scale deformation in a broad tectonic aspect. Natural, experimental and theoretical studies are welcomed, as well as numerical simulations of microstructure development, deformation mechanisms and micro- to macroscale strain localization. We aim to advance the understanding of the fundamental aspects of strain nucleation and subsequent localization at different scales, as well as the connections between grain-scale processes and large-scale plate tectonics.