Numerical modelling of porphyroclast and porphyroblast rotation in anisotropic rocks

Albert Griera*, Maria-Gema Llorens, Enrique Gomez-Rivas, Paul D. Bons, Mark W. Jessell, Lynn A. Evans, Ricardo Lebensohn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


The rotational behaviour of rigid objects in a weaker rock matrix during deformation has been the subject of many field, experimental and numerical modelling studies, often centred on the question whether objects rotate or not in non-coaxial deformation. With numerical studies gaining increasing popularity and importance we here provide an overview of the results published so far and provide new simulations. Originally, shape and orientation were investigated, while the emphasis shifted to rheology and slip between object and matrix in the nineties of the last century. Due to improved numerical techniques, anisotropic rheology has become the focus of most recent studies, indicating that it is a primary factor in the rotation behaviour of objects. We present new simulations investigating the role of anisotropy on different scales relative to the object, and show how this influences the rotation rate, as well as the inclusion patterns in case of syntectonically growing porphyroblasts. These simulations show that a variety of factors play a role to determine the rate and sense of rotation of objects. The variability of the inclusion patterns that can develop necessitates extreme caution in the kinematic interpretation of these structures when observed in the field. (c) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-29
Number of pages26
Early online date11 Oct 2012
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2013


  • porphyroclast
  • porphyroblast
  • numerical simulation
  • anisotropy
  • rotation
  • spiral pattern
  • simple shear-flow
  • shaped inclusion trails
  • viscous simple shear
  • rigid spherical body
  • strain localization
  • pure shear
  • mantled porphyroclasts
  • ellipsoidal inclusion
  • conflict-resolution
  • vorticity analysis


Dive into the research topics of 'Numerical modelling of porphyroclast and porphyroblast rotation in anisotropic rocks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this