The transport of supercritical fluids is a determining factor for several geological processes and fundamental in predicting natural resource accumulation and distribution. Calcite, ubiquitous in most geological environments, may contain supercritical CO 2 trapped under the form of fluid inclusions that may move through grain boundaries affecting the rock physical properties. However, despite macroscopic evidence for this process, until recent it was not possible to characterize this process at the nano-scale due to the difficulty of such observations. In this study, we report nanometer-scale observations on calcite crystal surfaces and demonstrate that stress with absence of visible deformation produces fluid leakage from fluid inclusions. Atomic Force Microscopy scanning experiments on freshly cleaved calcite crystals containing visible fluid inclusions revealed the spontaneous formation of nanometer-scale hillocks on flat crystal terraces in only a few minutes, without evidence of surface dissolution. The fact the hillocks formed on flat surface in a short time was unexpected and suggests deposition of material from the inner crystal to the surface through small-scale fluid migration. We estimated the rate of this fluid mobility is by several orders of magnitude higher than the diffusion rate through vacancies estimated in calcite crystals showing that CO 2 –rich fluids through micro-pore and nano-pore spaces is in reality much higher than previously assumed using current predictive models.
|Numero di pagine||8|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2018|
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