Fluids related to Serpentinization are of at least three types. The first reported (Barnes and O'Neil, 1969) is a fluid of local meteoric origin, the chemical and thermodynamic properties of which are entirely controlled by olivine, orthopyroxene, brucite, and serpentine reactions. It is a Ca+2-OH−1 type and is shown experimentally to be capable of reacting with albite to yield calcium hydroxy silicates. Rodingites may form where the Ca+2-OH−1 type waters flow across the ultramafic contact and react with siliceous country rock.
The second type of fluid has its chemical composition largely controlled before it enters the ultramafic rocks, but reactions within the ultramafic rocks fix the thermodynamic properties by reactions of orthopyroxene, olivine, calcite, brucite, and serpentine. The precipitation of brucite from this fluid clearly shows that fluid flow allows reaction products to be deposited at a distance from the point of solution. Thus, textural evidence for volume relations during Serpentinization may not be valid.
The third type of fluid has its chemical properties fixed in part before the reactions with ultramafic rocks, in part by the reactions of orthopyroxene, olivine, and serpentine and in part by reactions with siliceous country rock at the contact. The reactions of the ultramafic rock and country rock with the fluid must be contemporaneous and require flow to be along the contact. This third type of fluid is grossly supersaturated with talc and tremolite, both found along the contact. The occurrence of magadiite, kenyaite, mountainite, and rhodesite along the contact is probably due to a late stage low-temperature reaction of fluids of the same thermodynamic properties as those that formed the talc and tremolite at higher temperatures. Oxygen isotope analyses of some of these minerals supports this conclusion.
Rodingites form from Ca+2-rich fluids flowing across the contact; talc and tremolite form from silica-rich fluids flowing along the contact.
Isotopic analyses of the fluids indicate varied origins including unaltered local meteoric water and connate water. Complexion Spring water may be a sample of only slightly altered Jurassic or Cretaceous sea water.