Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract This paper is concerned with the thermodynamic theory of solution and precipitation processes in wet crustal rocks and with the mechanism of steady pressure-solution slip in ‘contact zones,’ such as grain-to-grain contacts, fracture surfaces, and permeable gouge layers, that are infiltrated by a mobile aqueous solution phase. A local dissipation jump condition at the phase boundary is fundamental to identifying the thermodynamic force driving the solution and precipitation process and is used here in setting up linear phenomenological relations to model near-equilibrium phase transformation kinetics. The local thermodynamic equilibrium of a stressed pure solid in contact with its melt or solution phase is governed by Gibbs's relation, which is rederived here, in a manner emphasizing its independence of constitutive assumptions for the solid while neglecting surface tension and diffusion in the solid. Fluid-infiltrated contact zones, such as those formed by rough surfaces, cannot generally be in thermodynamic equilibrium, especially during an ongoing process of pressure-solution slip, and the existing equilibrium formulations are incorrect in overlooking dissipative processes tending to eliminate fluctuations in superficial free energies due to stress concentrations near asperities, defects, or impurities. Steady pressure-solution slip is likely to exhibit a nonlinear dependence of slip rate on shear stress and effective normal stress, due to a dependence of the contact-zone state on the latter. Given that this dependence is negligible within some range, linear relations for pressure-solution slip can be derived for the limiting cases of diffusion-controlled and interface-reaction-controlled rates. A criterion for rate control by one of these mechanisms is set by the magnitude of the dimensionless quantitykδ/2C pD, wherek is the interfacial transfer coefficient, δ is the mean diffusion path length,C p is the solubility at pressurep, andD is the mass diffusivity.
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