Dislocation mediated plastic deformation decisively influences the friction coefficient and the microstructural changes at many metal sliding interfaces during tribological loading. This work explores the initiation of a tribologically induced microstructure in the vicinity of a copper twin boundary. Two distinct horizontal dislocation traces lines (DTL) are observed in their interaction with the twin boundary beneath the sliding interface. DTL formation seems unaffected by the presence of the twin boundary but the twin boundary acts as an indicator of the occurring deformation mechanisms. Three concurrent elementary processes can be identified: simple shear of the subsurface area in sliding direction, localized shear at the primary DTL and crystal rotation in the layers above and between the DTLs around axes parallel to the transverse direction. Crystal orientation analysis demonstrates a strong compatibility of these proposed processes. Quantitatively separating these different deformation mechanisms is crucial for future predictive modeling of tribological contacts.