Mineral—Fluid Reaction Rates

  • J. V. Walther
  • B. J. Wood
Part of the Advances in Physical Geochemistry book series (PHYSICAL GEOCHE, volume 5)


The nature and extent of interaction between a metamorphic rock and externally derived fluid depend on a number of physical and chemical variables. The compositions of rock and fluid and the initial degree of disequilibrium between them is obviously of prime importance. Second, the rates of fluid mineral reactions control the actual extents to which reequilibration may be observed. These rates are, in turn, dependent on pressure and temperature and on the initial and final grain size of the rock. Finally, the net fluid—rock ratio determines the final equilibrium mineral assemblages that would be observed if infinite time were allowed for reaction. Petrographic and isotopic examinations of rocks that have been through the metamorphic “mill” sometimes enable estimates of overall fluid—rock ratios to be made (e.g., Rumble et al., 1982). These calculations require the assumption of equilibrium, however, so that in the event of substantial disequilibrium, the actual fluid—rock ratio is underestimated. Several studies have demonstrated that limestones (e.g., Rumble et al., 1982; Graham et al., 1983) and pelites (Ferry, 1984) have equilibrated with large amounts (1: 1 or more by volume) of externally derived fluid during prograde metamorphism. These observations lead to important questions about the overall rate of the metamorphic process, the origins of the fluids, and the nature of fluid flow at deep crustal levels (Wood and Walther, this volume).


Surface Reaction Mineral Dissolution Transition State Theory Dissolution Data Prograde Metamorphism 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. V. Walther
  • B. J. Wood

There are no affiliations available

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