Abstract

Metamorphic veins record the fracture-controlled flow of fluids throughout the oceanic and continental crust. I show that the spatial distributions of veins from three diverse metamorphic settings are fractal and self-similar. Vein densities were measured by counting the number of macroscopic veins intersected along linear transects. The localities included wol-lastonite-quartz veins in marbles, for which the fractal dimension D is 0.46, actinolite-chlorite veins in hydrothermally altered oceanic diabases (D = 0.81), and epidote-quartz veins in contact-metamorphosed basalts (D = 0.25-0.63). The fractal clustering of veins provides a geometric framework for understanding spatial and temporal patterns of fluid flow and mineral reaction during metamorphism.

First Page Preview

First page PDF preview
You do not currently have access to this article.