Marine Geophysical Research

, Volume 36, Issue 2–3, pp 139–147 | Cite as

Study of the permeability in melting zone of South China Sea based on percolation theory

Original Research Paper


Oceanic crust is formed at mid-ocean ridges. The melting zone extends up to several hundreds of km laterally, the upwelling area at the spreading axis is confined to a narrow belt of only 2–3 km width. Whereas the parameter of permeability that magma ascending from the mantle beneath mid-ocean ridges is still poorly understood, despite the important role of the process for the formation of crust. Based on continuum percolation, we build the random fracture network as magma migration channels of South China Sea; with momentum equation, we deduced the dynamic pressure distribution with passive corner flow. After which, the permeability of melting zone is calculated with finite element method. Numerical simulation results indicate that there exists a power law relationship between the permeability and magma migration channels. The simulated result is consistent with that calculated by fractal method. The discovery of the ruler provides sound theoretical basis for the formation and evolution of oceanic crust, and may help us better understanding the formation and evolution of South China Sea.


Magma migration Oceanic crust Rising divergent mantle flow Percolation method Permeability 



The national natural science foundation of China (41376061) and National major oil and gas Projects (2011ZX05008-004-44).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ju-ying Wan
    • 1
    • 2
  • He-hua Xu
    • 1
  • Yan-zhen Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wei-bing Shu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Marginal Sea Geology of Chinese Academy of Sciences, South China Sea Institute of OceanologyUniversity of Chinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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