Factors of Metamorphism

  • Helmut G. F. Winkler
Part of the Springer Study Edition book series (SSE)


Temperature and pressure are the physical factors that control the process of mnetamorphism. Metamorphism, in general, refers to the reactions between neighboring minerals of a rock in response to conditions of temperature and pressure prevailing at depth. A certain mineral paragenesis, formed at some given temperature and pressure, becomes unstable if subjected to different conditions; the minerals react to form a new paragenesis in equilibrium at the new conditions. If carbonates and H2O- or OH-bearing minerals take part in the reaction, CO2 and H20 are liberated. The higher the temperature of metamorphism, the smaller the amount of CO2 and H2O combined in the stable minerals. Therefore, a fluid phase composed of volatile constituents is always present during metamorphism of such rocks.


Fluid Phase Mineral Assemblage Equilibrium Temperature Oxygen Fugacity Volatile Constituent 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helmut G. F. Winkler
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Mineralogy and PetrologyUniversity of GöttingenFederal Republic of Germany

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