Subduction-Zone Fluids

Fluids are essential to the physical and chemical processes in subduction zones. Two types of subduction-zone fluids can be distinguished. First, shallow fluids, which are relatively dilute and water rich and that have properties that vary between subduction zones depending on the local thermal regime. Second, deep fluids, which possess higher proportions of dissolved silicate, salts and non-polar gases relative to water content, and have properties that are broadly similar in most subduction systems, regardless of the local thermal structure. We review key physical and chemical properties of fluids in two key subduction-zone contexts—along the slab top and beneath the volcanic front—to illustrate the distinct properties of shallow and deep subduction-zone fluids.

Read More

Hydrothermal Properties of Geologic Fluids

Aqueous fluids are critical agents in the geochemical evolution of Earth’s interior. Fluid circulation and fluid–rock reactions in the Earth take place at temperatures ranging from ambient to magmatic, at pressures from ambient to extreme, and involve fluids that range from nearly pure H2O through to complex, multicomponent solutions. Consequently, the physical and chemical properties of hydrothermal fluids vary widely as functions of geologic setting; this variation strongly impacts fluid-driven processes. This issue will focus on the nature of geologic fluids at hydrothermal conditions and how such fluids affect geologic processes in some major settings.

Read More