On Fluids in the Dynamic Earth

  • M. Santosh


Plate, plume and anti-plate tectonics drive the fluid factories in the earth. Whereas water plays a dominant role in subduction zones, collision and rift zones witness the activity of CO2-rich fluids. Paleo-fluid channels can be traced from geologic, petrologic, fluid inclusion and geochemical signature; ongoing fluid activity is defined by seismogenic zones in subduction boundaries. Superplumes, both upwelling and downwelling, exert a major control on the nature and distribution of fluids within the earth. They act as pumps to take water to depth and as gigantic pipes connecting the core to the surface of the earth to transfer volatiles. The entrance of huge volumes of water from late Proterozoic triggered the return flow of CO2 back to the surface by the partial melting or subsolidus decarbonation of the subcontinental carbonated mantle. When a plume hits a carbonated tectosphere, the keel on which continents float, even small amounts of melts generated will be rich in CO2. Rising plumes also bring about thermal and chemical erosion. The magmatic, metasomatic and metamorphic fluid factories have played a major role in the geochemical and tectonic evolution of the earth.


Fluid Inclusion Subduction Zone Mantle Wedge Lower Mantle Outer Core 
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© Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth Science, Faculty of ScienceKochi UniversityKochiJapan

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