Theory of Pressure Solution Creep in Wet Compacting Sediments

  • F. K. Lehner
Part of the International Centre for Mechanical Sciences book series (CISM, volume 368)


Many rocks and especially sedimentary rocks contain water as a pore fluid. It has long been recognized that the mineral grains forming the rock matrix tend to dissolve in water preferentially along highly stressed, fluid-permeated grain—to—grain contacts. The dissolved material is then transported by molecular diffusion along wet grain boundaries and pores to low-energy precipitation sites. Since this ‘pressure solution’ process changes the rock fabric, it can lead to the accumulation of substantial macroscopic creep strain. Geologists specializing in materials science are engaged in formulating and testing appropriate macroscopic ‘pressure solution creep laws’, starting from a pore-scale description of stress-enhanced solution-precipitation and diffusive mass transfer processes. In this manner, they are seeking to constrain the rate and extent of important geological processes, e.g. the loss of porosity of sedimentary rocks in the course of their burial.


Contact Zone Creep Rate Pressure Solution Intergranular Contact Solution Seam 
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© Springer-Verlag Wien 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. K. Lehner
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BonnBonnGermany

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