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Nanoscale constraints on porosity generation and fluid flow during serpentinization

Benjamin M. Tutolo, David F. R. Mildner, Cedric V. L. Gagnon, Martin O. Saar and William E. Seyfried
Nanoscale constraints on porosity generation and fluid flow during serpentinization
Geology (Boulder) (February 2016) 44 (2): 103-106


Field samples of olivine-rich rocks are nearly always serpentinized-commonly to completion-but, paradoxically, their intrinsic porosity and permeability are diminishingly low. Serpentinization reactions occur through a coupled process of fluid infiltration, volumetric expansion, and reaction-driven fracturing. Pores and reactive surface area generated during this process are the primary pathways for fluid infiltration into and reaction with serpentinizing rocks, but the size and distribution of these pores and surface area have not yet been described. Here, we utilize neutron scattering techniques to present the first measurements of the evolution of pore size and specific surface area distribution in partially serpentinized rocks. Samples were obtained from the ca. 2 Ma Atlantis Massif oceanic core complex located off-axis of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and an olivine-rich outcrop of the ca. 1.1 Ga Duluth Complex of the North American Mid-Continent Rift. Our measurements and analyses demonstrate that serpentine and accessory phases form with their own, inherent porosity, which accommodates the bulk of diffusive fluid flow during serpentinization and thereby permits continued serpentinization after voluminous serpentine minerals fill reaction-generated porosity.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 44
Serial Issue: 2
Title: Nanoscale constraints on porosity generation and fluid flow during serpentinization
Affiliation: University of Oxford, Department of Earth Sciences, Oxford, United Kingdom
Pages: 103-106
Published: 201602
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 28
Accession Number: 2016-025668
Categories: Igneous and metamorphic petrology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: GSA Data Repository item 2016028
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table
N30°10'00" - N30°10'60", W42°07'00" - W42°06'00"
Secondary Affiliation: National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA, United StatesUniversity of Minnesota, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201613
Program Name: IODPIntegrated Ocean Drilling Program
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