Skip to main content

Can metamorphic reactions proceed faster than bulk strain?

Abstract

Available constraints on metamorphic reaction rates derived from the study of natural systems are similar to, or slightly lower than, the bulk strain rates measured in the same rocks. Here, we explore whether this apparent relationship is merely coincidence or due to a more fundamental mechanistic link between reaction and strain. Grain boundary migration accommodated dislocation creep (GBMDC) or grain boundary diffusion creep (GBDC) (i.e. pressure solution), both of which involve dissolution-precipitation as we define it, will occur simultaneously with mineral reactions involving dissolution-precipitation in the presence of a non-zero deviatoric stress. The exact relationships between reaction and strain are different depending on whether GBMDC or GBDC is controlling strain, but the mechanistic link exists in both cases. We present theoretical arguments which show that bulk strain by GBMDC or GBDC, which may additionally be accommodated by processes not involving dissolution-precipitation, such as dislocation glide and climb or grain boundary sliding, should in most cases be somewhat faster than the bulk reaction rates as observed. With few exceptions, for natural metamorphic systems undergoing plastic deformation, strain rates provide an upper limit for bulk reaction rates occurring simultaneously in the same rocks. The data suggest that mineral reaction rates may typically be within one order of magnitude of the strain rate.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6

References

  • Baxter EF (2003) Natural constraints on metamorphic reaction rates. In: Vance D, Muller W, Villa I (eds) Geochronology: linking the isotopic record with petrology and textures. Geol Soc Lond Spec Publ (in press)

  • Baxter EF, DePaolo DJ (2000) Field measurement of slow metamorphic reaction rates at temperatures of 500° to 600 °C. Science 288:1411–1414

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Baxter EF, DePaolo DJ (2002a) Field measurement of high temperature bulk reaction rates. I: Theory and technique. Am J Sci 302:442–464

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Baxter EF, DePaolo DJ (2002b) Field measurement of high temperature bulk reaction rates. II: Interpretation of results from a field site near Simplon Pass, Switzerland. Am J Sci 302:465–516

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Baxter EF, Ague JJ, DePaolo DJ (2002) Prograde temperature-time evolution in the Barrovian type-locality constrained by Sm/Nd garnet ages from Glen Clova, Scotland. J Geol Soc Lond 159:71–82

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Baxter EF (2003) Natural Constraints on Metamorphic Reaction Rates. In Vance D, Muller W, Villa I (eds) Geochronology: Linking the Isotopic Record with Petrology and Textures. Geological Society, London, Special Publication 220:183–220

  • Brodie KH, Rutter EH (1985) On the relationship between deformation and metamorphism, with special reference to the behavior of basic rocks. In: Thompson AB, Rubie DC (eds) Metamorphic reactions: kinetics, textures, and deformation. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 138–179

  • Carlson WD, Johnson CD (1991) Coronal reaction textures in garnet amphibolites of the Llano Uplift. Am Mineral 76:756–772

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Christensen JN, Rosenfeld JL, DePaolo DJ (1989) Rates of tectonometamorphic processes from rubidium and strontium isotopes in garnet. Science 244:1465–1469

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Christensen JN, Selverstone J, Rosenfeld JL, DePaolo DJ (1994) Correlation by Rb-Sr geochronology of garnet growth histories from different structural levels within the Tauern Window, eastern Alps. Contrib Mineral Petrol 118:1–12

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Cooper RF, Kohlstedt DL (1984) Rheology and structure of olivine basalt partial melts. J Geophys Res 91:9315–9323

    Google Scholar 

  • DePaolo DJ, Getty SR (1996) Models of isotopic exchange in fluid-rock systems: implications for geochronology in metamorphic rocks. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 60:3933–3947

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Evans B, Kohlstedt DL (1995) Rheology of rocks. Rock physics and phase relations: a handbook of physical constants. AGU Ref Shelf 3. American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC

    Google Scholar 

  • Farver JR, Yund RA (2000) Silicon diffusion in a natural quartz aggregate: constraints on solution-transfer diffusion creep. Tectonophysics 325:193–205.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Graham CM, Skelton ADL, Bickle MJ (1997) Lithological, structural and deformation controls on fluid flow during regional metamorphism. In: Holness MB (ed) Deformation-enhanced melt segregation and metamorphic fluid transport. Mineral Society, Chapman and Hall, London, pp 196–226

  • Green HW (1984) “Pressure solution” creep: some causes and mechanisms. J Geophys Res 89:4313–4318

    Google Scholar 

  • Green DH, Burnley PC (1989) A new self-organizing mechanism for deep-focus earthquakes. Nature 341:733–737

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Handy MR (1989) Deformation regimes and the rheological evolution of fault zones in the lithosphere: the effects of pressure, temperature, grain size and time. Tectonophysics 163:119–152

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hay RS, Evans B (1987) Chemically induced grain boundary migration in calcite: temperature dependence, phenomenology, and possible applications to geologic systems. Contrib Mineral Petrol 97:127–141

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Heinrich W, Metz P, Gottschalk M (1989) Experimental investigation of the kinetics of the reaction 1 tremolite + 11 dolomite = 8 forsterite + 13 calcite + 9 CO2+1 H2O. Contrib Mineral Petrol 102:163–173

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Helgeson HC, Murphy WM, Aagaard P (1984) Thermodynamic and kinetic constraints on reaction rates among minerals and aqueous solutions. II. Rate constants, effective surface area, and the hydrolysis of feldspar. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 48:2405–2432

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hirth G, Tullis J (1992) Dislocation creep regimes in quartz aggregates. J Struct Geol 14:145–159

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Karato S, Wu P (1993) Rheology of the upper mantle: a synthesis. Science 260:771–778

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Kirby SH, Durham WB, Stern LA (1991) Mantle phase-changes and deep-earthquake faulting in subducting lithosphere. Science 252:216–225

    Google Scholar 

  • Knipe RJ, Wintsch RP (1985) Heterogeneous deformation, foliation development, and metamorphic processes in a polyphase mylonite. In: Thompson AB, Rubie DC (eds) Metamorphic reactions: kinetics textures, and deformation. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 180–210

  • Kohn MJ, Valley JW (1994) Oxygen isotope constraints on metamorphic fluid flow, Townshend Dam, Vermont, USA. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 58:5551–5566

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Kruse R, Stunitz H (1999) Deformation mechanisms and phase distribution in mafic high-temperature mylonites from the Jotun Nappe, southern Norway. Tectonophysics 303:223–249

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Kruse S, McNutt M, Phipps-Morgan J, Royden L (1991) Lithospheric extension near Mead Lake, Nevada: a model for ductile flow in the lower crust. J Geophys Res 96:4435–4456

    Google Scholar 

  • Joesten R (1983) Grain growth and grain-boundary diffusion in quartz from the Christmas Mountains (Texas) contact aureole. Am J Sci 283A:233–254

    Google Scholar 

  • Lasaga AC (1986) Metamorphic reaction rate laws and development of isograds. Mineral Mag 50:359–373

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Lasaga AC, Rye DM (1993) Fluid flow and chemical reaction kinetics in metamorphic systems. Am J Sci 293:361–404

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Lasaga AC, Luttge A, Rye DM, Bolton EW (2000) Dynamic treatment of invariant and univariant reactions in metamorphic systems. Am J Sci 300:173–221

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Lehner FK (1995) A model for intergranular pressure solution in open systems. Tectonophysics 245:153–170

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Matthews A (1985) Kinetics and mechanisms of the reaction of zoisite to anorthite under hydrothermal conditions: reaction phenomenology away from the equilibrium region. Contrib Mineral Petrol 89:110–121

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • McKenzie D, Nimmo F, Jackson JA, Gans PB, Miller EL (2000) Characteristics and consequences of flow in the lower crust. J Geophys Res 105:11029–11046

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Milke R, Heinrich W (2002) Diffusion-controlled growth of wollastonite rims between quartz and calcite; comparison between nature and experiment. J Met Geol 20:467–480

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Muller W, Aerden D, Halliday AN (2000) Isotopic dating of strain fringe increments: duration and rates of deformation in shear zones. Science 288:2195–2198

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Newman J, Lamb WM, Drury MR, Vissers RLM (1999) Deformation processes in a peridotite shear zone: reaction-softening by an H2O deficient, continuous net transfer reaction. Tectonophysics 303:193–222

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Paterson MS (1995) A theory for granular flow accommodated by material transfer via an intergranular fluid. Tectonophysics 245:135–152

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Pfiffner OA, Ramsey JG (1982) Constraints on geological strain rates: arguments from finite strain rates of naturally deformed rocks. J Geophys Res 87:311–321

    Google Scholar 

  • Poirier JP (1985) Creep of crystals. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 260 pp

  • Poirier JP, Guillope M (1979) Deformation induced recrystallization of minerals. Bull Mineral 102:67–74

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Rosenfeld JL (1970) Rotated garnets in metamorphic rocks. Geol Soc Am Spec Pap 129

  • Rubie DC (1983) Reaction enhanced ductility; the role of solid–solid univariant reactions in the deformation of the crust and mantle. Tectonophysics 96:233–261

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rubie DC, Thompson AB (1985) Kinetics of metamorphic reactions at elevated temperatures and pressures: an appraisal of available experimental data. In: Thompson AB, Rubie DC (eds) Metamorphic reactions: kinetics, textures, and deformation. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 138–179

  • Rutter EH (1983) Pressure solution in nature, theory and experiment. J Geol Soc Lond 140:725–740

    Google Scholar 

  • Rutter EH (1999) On the relationship between the formation of shear zones and the form of the flow law for rocks undergoing dynamic recrystallization. Tectonophysics 303:147–158

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Rutter EH, Brodie KH (1988) Experimental approaches to the study of deformation/metamorphism relationships. Mineral Mag 52:35–42

    Google Scholar 

  • Rutter EH, Brodie KH (1995) Mechanistic interactions between deformation and metamorphism. Geol J 30:227–240

    Google Scholar 

  • Schramke JA, Kerrick DM, Lasaga AC (1987) The reaction muscovite+quartz=andalusite+k-feldspar+water. Part 1. Growth kinetics and mechanism. Am J Sci 287:517–559

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Shimizu I (1995) Kinetics of pressure solution creep in quartz: theoretical considerations. Tectonophysics 245:121–134

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Simpson C (1985) Deformation of granitic-rocks across the brittle ductile transition. J Struct Geol 7:503–511

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Skelton ADL, Bickle MJ, Graham CM (1997) Fluid flux and reaction rate from advective-diffusive carbonation of mafic sill margins in the Dalradian, southwest Scottish Highlands. Earth Planet Sci Lett 146:527–539

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Snow E, Yund RA (1987) The effect of ductile deformation on the kinetics and mechanisms of the aragonite-calcite transformation. J Metamorphic Geol 5:141–153

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Steffen K, Selverstone J, Brearley A (2001) Episodic weakening and strengthening during synmetamorphic deformation in a deep-crustal shear zone in the Alps. In: Holdsworth RE, Strachan RA, Magloughlin JF, Knipe RJ (eds) The nature and tectonic significance of fault zone weakening. Geological Society, London, pp 141–156

  • Stockhert B, Wachmann M, Kuster M, Bimmerman S (1999) Low effective viscosity during high-pressure metamorphism due to dissolution precipitation creep: the record of HP-LT metamorphic carbonates and siliciclastic rocks from Crete. Tectonophysics 303:299–319

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stowell HH, Taylor DL, Tinkham DL, Goldberg SA, Ouderkirk KA (2001) Contact metamorphic P-T-t paths from Sm-Nd garnet ages, phase equilibria modeling and thermobarometry: Garnet Ledge, south-eastern Alaska, USA. J Metamorphic Geol 19:645–660

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Stunitz H (1998) Syndeformational recrystallization—dynamic or compositionally induced? Contrib Mineral Petrol 131:219–236

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stunitz H, Tullis J (2001) Weakening and strain localization produced by syn-deformational reaction of plagioclase. Int J Earth Sci 90:136–148

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Thompson AB (1983) Fluid-absent metamorphism. J Geol Soc Lond 140:533–547

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Tullis J, Yund RA (1991) Diffusion creep in feldspar aggregates: experimental evidence. J Struct Geol 13:987–1000

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Turcotte DL, Schubert G (1982) Geodynamics: applications of continuum physics to geological problems. Wiley, New York

  • Urai JL, Means WD, Lister GS (1986) Dynamic recrystallization of minerals. AGU Geophys Monogr 36:161–199

    Google Scholar 

  • Vance D, Harris N (1999) Timing of prograde metamorphism in the Zanskar Himalaya. Geology 27:395–398

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Vance D, O’Nions RK (1992) Prograde and retrograde thermal histories from the central Swiss Alps. Earth Planet Sci Lett 114:113–129

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Wibberly C (1999) Are feldspar-to-mica reactions necessarily reaction-softening processes in fault zones? J Struct Geol 21:1219–1227

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wintsch RP, Yi K (2002) Dissolution and replacement creep: a significant deformation mechanism in mid-crustal rocks. J Struct Geol 24:1179–1193

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wood BJ, Walther JV (1983) Rates of hydrothermal reactions. Science 222:413–415

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Yund RA, Tullis J (1991) Compositional changes of minerals associated with dynamic recrystallization. Contrib Mineral Petrol 108:346–355

    CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

We wish to thank two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments, and Jed Mosenfelder, Jan Tullis, and Carol Simpson for valuable discussions and informal reviews of various versions of the manuscript. E.F.B. was supported by a postdoctoral fellowship at Caltech during the writing of this manuscript. E.F.B. would also like to acknowledge startup funds from Boston University for support during completion of this study.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ethan F. Baxter.

Additional information

Editorial responsibility: T.L. Grove

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Baxter, E.F., DePaolo, D.J. Can metamorphic reactions proceed faster than bulk strain?. Contrib Mineral Petrol 146, 657–670 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00410-003-0525-3

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00410-003-0525-3

Keywords

  • Deviatoric Stress
  • Bulk Rock
  • Pressure Solution
  • Garnet Growth
  • Bulk Strain