Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 95, Issue 3, pp 384–392 | Cite as

The transport of heat and matter by fluids during metamorphism

  • M. J. Bickle
  • D. McKenzie


Non-dimensional solutions to the equations for the combined advective and diffusive one-dimensional transport of heat and solute in a layer are derived for fixed temperature/concentration on the boundaries and initial conditions of a linear gradient across the layer or a step function at the lower boundary. The solutions allow distinction of regimes in which advective or diffusive transport of either heat or solute predominate as a function of fluid flux, time and a length scale. The much lower diffusive coefficients for solute than heat results in a significant range of length scales and fluid flux rates characterised by advection of matter and diffusion of heat. The advective velocity of a component is a function of its fluid:rock partition coefficient. The most rapidly transported tracers which partition largely into the fluid phase, such as He, will travel orders of magnitude faster than heat or compatible solutes such as oxygen. Geochemical profiles in boundary layer regions where both advective and diffusive transport are significant are shown to be particularly informative as to properties of the rocks related to fluid flow such as porosity, permeability, time scales and fluid flux rates. The importance of advection can be directly estimated from the asymmetry of the geochemical profiles across individual layers.


Permeability Porosity Boundary Layer Fluid Flow Advection 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. J. Bickle
    • 1
  • D. McKenzie
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeEngland

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