Abstract

Modeling of hydrogeological regimes associated with crustal extension indicate that flux values for deeply convected meteoric water are on the order of 10−3 m3 ċ m−2 ċ yr−1. Calculated CO2 fluxes produced by infiltration-driven, metamorphic decarbonation reactions along the circulation path are 2.4 × 10−4 m3 ċ m−2 ċ yr−1. Appication of the model to Cenozoic extension in the North American Cordillera demonstrates that CO2 generated in this manner may have been a major contributor to elevated CO2 contents of Cenozoic atmospheres and the resulting global warming due to CO2 greenhouse effect.

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