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When pore fluids flow across isotherms and maintain chemical equilibrium with the mineral assemblage, a certain amount of matrix mass transfer must occur due to the temperature dependence of the equilibrium constants involved. The fluid flow field V interacts with the temperature field T to produce a spatially varying component of the total diagenetic field (the advective diagenetic field), which is proportional to V grad T where grad T is the gradient of the temperature field. The spatial distribution of the advective field depends on the geometry of the system (e.g., domes, anticlines, etc.) and to a first approximation is independent of the authigenetic mineral assemblage. The intensity of the alteration, or equivalently, the time required to reach a certain degree of alteration, is proportional to the permeability and thermal conductivities of the rocks involved. For cases when simple forced flow dominates, the alteration is relatively homogeneous vertically. The lateral variation, however, can be intricate, even for simple geometries, since the distribution of the altered assemblage is proportional to the directional derivative of the function(s) describing the structures.The porosity isopleths (points of equal porosity change) migrate through the rock, diverging from regions of net mass removal and converging on regions of net accumulation. The movement of these isopleths provides a sense of the net mass flows in the system.

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