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Metasomatism under Thermogradient Conditions: Models for the Coupled Heat Transfer and Fluid‒Rock Interaction


Numerical models are presented for metasomatic processes caused by the coupled heat and solute transfer from a granite source to the host metapelite of given composition in the mode of pervasive and channelized vertical fluid flow. The temperature change is calculated by the equations of conductive and advective heat transport in a permeable medium, and the results of fluid–rock interaction are calculated by means of the HCh software package. The mineral composition of rocks, the extent of their transformation, and the degree of fluid–protolith disequilibrium depend on the fluid flux, time and distance from the source. At a flux of 10–10 m/s, only multiphase mineral assemblages characteristic of contact metamorphic zoning are formed. In permeable channels, at a flux of 10–8–10–6 m/s, a vertical metasomatic zoning is formed. It changes with time as the channel is heated and the fluid/rock ratio increases. The velocity of replacement fronts in this zoning differs by several orders of magnitude. At a given composition and temperature of the fluid source and the composition of the protolith, the formation of the specific metasomatic assemblages is mainly determined by two factors: the volume fluid/rock ratio and the temperature difference between the source and the fluid. The increase in the fluid acidity with temperature decrease is most pronounced in narrow single channels, where conductive heat transfer prevails, and the temperature gradient persists for a long time. In wide closely spaced channels, the temperature is determined by advective heat transfer by fluid, its gradient disappears, and the influence of the fluid source composition becomes predominant.

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  1. Composition of Pl: Na0.8Ca0.2Al1.2Si2.8O8, Bt: K(Mg1.35Fe1.35Al0.3) [Al1.3Si2.7O10](OH)2.

  2. Symbol Cb in this paper is used to designate Fe-Mg carbonates of variable composition from breunnerite to siderite.


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We are grateful to L.Ya. Aranovich and V.I. Malkovsky for recommendations, which significantly improved the manuscript.


This work was made in the framework of government-financed task no. FMUW-2021-0002 of the Laboratory of Fluid Processes of the Institute of Precambrian Geology and Geochronology of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

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Translated by M. Bogina



Table 4. List of solute species involved in the fluid–rock interaction
Table 5. Parameters of composition of rocks and fluid in model 1 (pervasive filtration of flow 10–10 m/s from a channel with constant T = 600°C)
Table 6. Parameters of composition of rock and fluid in model 2 (channelized fluid flow 10–8 m/s; source is a cooling half-space with a constant T = 457°C at the contact)
Table 7. Parameters of composition of rocks and fluid in model 3 (fluid flow 10–6 m/s in a wide channel m = 1 m; source is a cooling stratal body)
Table 8. Parameters of composition of rock and fluid in model 4 (fluid flow 10–6 m/s in a narrow channel m = 0.1 m; source is a cooling stratal body)
Table 9. Parameters of composition of rocks and fluid in model 5 (multichannel fluid flow 10–6 m/s in wide channels m = 1 м; source is a cooling stratal body)

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Kol’tsov, A.B., Bushmin, S.A. Metasomatism under Thermogradient Conditions: Models for the Coupled Heat Transfer and Fluid‒Rock Interaction. Petrology 30, 305–324 (2022).

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  • metasomatism
  • numerical modeling
  • heat transfer
  • fluid flow
  • acidity
  • zoning