Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 162, Issue 1, pp 193–208 | Cite as

The interaction of migrating grain boundaries with fluid inclusions in rock analogues: the effect of wetting angle and fluid inclusion velocity

  • Joyce SchmatzEmail author
  • Oliver Schenk
  • Janos L. Urai
Original Paper


The distribution of fluids in grain boundaries, fluid inclusion morphology and kinetics have important effects on the evolution of microstructure and transport properties and should be understood for correct interpretations for studies of thermobarometry and paleorheology. We compare results of in situ annealing experiments on rock analogues in the presence of different pore fluids in transmitted light: bischofite with saturated brine, camphor with ethanol, and camphor with ethylene glycol. The solid–liquid systems vary in terms of wettability and solubility, while homologous temperatures, strain rates, annealing times, and the initial textures are similar. In agreement with earlier work and theory, we observe different types of grain boundary–fluid inclusion interaction at sufficiently low grain boundary velocity such as drag and drop, necking, and the break up into arrays of smaller inclusions. In all three systems the maximum possible velocity of a fluid inclusion being dragged by a moving grain boundary is dependent on the fluid inclusion size. We interpret this to reflect the fluid inclusion mobility, and compare the trend with theoretical models which suggest that for all three systems the rate-limiting process is bulk diffusion and not surface diffusion or solution-precipitation.


Fluid inclusions Grain boundary migration Wetting angle In situ experiments Fluid inclusion velocity 



We thank F.-D. Scherberich for constructing the deformation cell. P.D. Bons and J.K. Becker are acknowledged for inspiring discussions on our experiments. M. Jessell and an anonymous reviewer are acknowledged for thorough reviews. The project was funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG, UR 64/8-1) and was part of the European Science Foundation (ESF)-funded the collaborative research project EuroMinSci.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Structural Geology, Tectonics and Geomechanics, Geological InstituteRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  2. 2.Schlumberger Center of Excellence for Petroleum Systems ModelingAachenGermany

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