Mylonites associated with the Mannin Thrust zone of southwesternmost Connemara formed when the high-grade metamorphic rocks typical of most of the Connemara massif were thrust to the southeast over low metamorphic grade (low greenschist facies?) acid volcanics and volcaniclastic sediments, while being metamorphosed in the epidote-amphibolite facies. Triaxial and biaxial ultrasonic velocity measurements of mylonite specimens from a 240 m borehole have established that there is significant seismic anisotropy up to about 11% when comparing velocities perpendicular and parallel to the foliation. This would ultimately lead to a reflection coefficient of about 0.02 when comparing the mean "isotropic" seismic velocity with that perpendicular to the foliation. The finely striped, discontinunous mineral lithons that define mylonitic foliation, but which form no real and continuous surfaces, could interact with seismic energy to produce "reflections" that do not relate to lithological contacts within the rocks but to a tectonically induced, orientated acoustic impedance. However, the results support the work of others in suggesting that on its own the fabric would not produce the high amplitude reflections observed on deep seismic lines and other mechanisms need to be investigated. ?? 1988.
Additional publication details
Seismic anisotropy in mylonites: an example from the Mannin Thrust Zone, southwest Connemara, Ireland