** Progress in Earth and Planetary Science is the official journal of the Japan Geoscience Union, published in collaboration with its 50 society members.

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    • Progress in Earth and Planetary Science
    • Progress in Earth and Planetary Science
    • Progress in Earth and Planetary Science
    • Progress in Earth and Planetary Science
    • Progress in Earth and Planetary Science
    Progress in Earth and Planetary Science

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    Solid earth sciences

    Drastic effect of shearing on graphite microtexture: attention and application to Earth science

    Kouketsu Y, Miyake A, Igami Y, Taguchi T, Kagi H, Enami

    Graphite, Shearing, Microtexture, Confocal laser scanning microscope, Raman spectroscopy, FIB–TEM, Fault rock, Sheet-like mineral

    STEM cross-section image of polished graphite and microtextural change of polished graphite during sample preparation steps

    The microtexture of graphite exposed on the polished surface was studied using confocal laser scanning microscopy, laser Raman spectroscopy, and focused ion beam–transmission electron microscopy (FIB–TEM) to elucidate the effect on surface condition and crystallinity of graphite by polishing process. The polished surface of the graphite was divided into a flat part with no irregularities and a grooved band with a width of < 1 μm and a depth of < 100 nm. Raman analyses revealed that the original structure of the graphite covered by the host mineral was a well-ordered graphite, whereas the polished graphite at the surface had a reduced crystallinity, particularly in the flat part of the sample. Based on scanning TEM observations of an ultra-thin FIB section, fractures that developed during sample preparation were concentrated in the region extending from the surface to a depth of 1 μm. Furthermore, graphite sheets were peeled away by shearing, with scraped graphite sheets filling in the gap. Our results demonstrate that the original microtexture of graphite was easily deformed by shearing during polishing, and careful attention should be paid to sample preparation. In addition, we also need to pay more attention to the effects of natural shearing such as faulting on the graphite or sheet-like minerals.