Surveys in Geophysics

, Volume 15, Issue 5, pp 515–544

Modeling of mineralogical composition, density and elastic wave velocities in anhydrous magmatic rocks

  • Stephan V. Sobolev
  • Andrey Yu. Babeyko

DOI: 10.1007/BF00690173

Cite this article as:
Sobolev, S.V. & Babeyko, A.Y. Surv Geophys (1994) 15: 515. doi:10.1007/BF00690173


We use the technique of direct minimization of the Gibbs free energy of the 8-component (K2O-Na2O-Fe2O3-FeO-CaO-MgO-Al2O3-SiO2) multiphase system in order to determine the equilibrium mineral assemblages of rocks of different bulk chemical compositions equilibrated at various P-T conditions. The calculated modal compositions of rocks and experimental data on elastic moduli of single crystals are then used to calculate densities and isotropic elastic wave velocities of rocks together with their pressure and temperature derivatives. Sufficient accuracy of the calculations is confirmed by comparison with experimental data on the gabbro-eclogite transformation and precise ultrasonic measurements of elastic wave velocities in a number of magmatic and metamorphic rocks.

We present calculated phase diagrams with isolines of density, elastic wave velocities, and their pressure and temperature derivatives for several anhydrous magmatic rocks, from granite to lherzolite. Density and elastic properties of rocks are controlled by their chemical compositions, especially the SiO2 content, and by P-T of equilibration, and they increase with pressure due to mineral reactions changing mineral assemblages from plagioclase-bearing and garnet-free to garnetbearing and plagioclase-free. TheVp-density correlation is high, and shows two clear trends: one for iron-poor ultramafic rocks and another for all the other rocks considered. Mineral reactions, which occur at high pressures, changeVp and density of anhydrous magmatic rocks following the well-known Birch (or a similar) law.

Felsic, intermediate and mafic rocks can be well distinguished in theVp-Vp/Vs- diagram, although their values ofVp can be close to one another. TheVp-Vp/Vs-density diagrams together with calculated phase diagrams can serve as efficient instruments for petrologic interpretation of seismic velocities.

Key words

Petrophysical modeling thermodynamic database phase diagrams elastic properties petrologic interpretation 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephan V. Sobolev
    • 1
    • 2
  • Andrey Yu. Babeyko
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Schmidt Institute of Physics of the EarthMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Geophysical Institute University of KarlsruheGermany

Personalised recommendations