ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201610.0062.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geophysics Keywords: Qinghai-Tibet Plateau; geoid anomaly inversion; crustal and upper mantle density construction
Online: 15 October 2016 (08:25:13 CEST)
As the most active plateau on the Earth, the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau has a complex crust-mantle structure. Knowledge of the distribution of such a structure provides information for understanding the underlying geodynamic processes. We obtains a three-dimensional density model of crustal and upper mantle beneath Qinghai-Tibet plateau and its surrounding areas from the residual geoid anomalies using the Earth Gravitational Model (EGM) 2008. We estimate a refined density model by iterations, using an initial density contrast model. We confirm that the EGM2008 mission products can be used to constrain the crust-mantle density structures. Our major findings are: (1). At 300-400 km depth, high-D anomalies terminate around Jinsha River Suture (JRS) in the central TP, suggesting that the Indian plate has been reached over the Bangong Nujiang Suture (BNS) and almost reach to the JRS. (2). On the eastern TP, low-D anomalies at the depth of 0-300 km together with high-D anomalies at 400-670 km further verified the current eastward subduction of Indian plate. The ongoing subduction provides forces to the occurrences of frequent earthquakes and volcano. (3). At 600 km depth, low-D anomalies inside the TP illustrate the existence of hot weak material beneath there, contributing to the external material inward-thrusting.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0377.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: Global salt cycle; Wilson cycle; Giant salt accumulations; Subduction; Rifting; Mantle; upwelling; Hydrated mantle; Hydrothermal salt expulsion; Hydrothermal circulation; Basin subsidence; Supercritical fluids; Phase separation; Saline brine; Salt diapir; Bedded salts; Inherited composition; Inherited structures; Lower crustal body; Electrical conductivity; Magnetotelluric method; Seismic velocity; Brittle-ductile behaviour; Continental crust formation; Oceanic crust formation; Hydration of oceanic crust; Serpentinization; Volcanism; Mineral solubility.
Online: 16 July 2021 (14:34:42 CEST)
The main objective of this communication is to describe the ‘Global Salt Cycle’. Giant salt accumulations are commonly found along continental margins of former rifts. The first stage in the accumulation process is saturation of newly formed oceanic crust with seawater. Final mobilisation and accumulation of the salts occurs during rifting, localised in the vicinity of relict subduction zones. Oceanic crust is created along the spreading ridges in the deep oceans of the Earth. It exchanges mass and energy with seawater in hydrothermal circulation cells that penetrate deep into the new and fractured crust. Water-rock interactions include the formation of hydrated and hydroxylated minerals, e.g., serpentinites and clay minerals. By incorporating hydroxyl groups and water in their crystal lattices, the salinity of remaining brines increases. Subduction of oceanic crust and serpentinised lithosphere transports water, hydrated minerals, and marine salts deep into the crust and mantle. Upon pressurisation and heating of the subducting slab, different parts of this water are expelled at different depths/temperatures. The resulting fluids will contain salts brought in with the slab, as well as new salts formed by water-rock interaction. The combination of elevated pressures and temperatures, water, salinity, and CO2, create permeability in the normally impermeable, peridotitic mantle, by altering the fluid-rock dihedral angles of mineral grains. This P/T-determined intergranular permeability allows ascent of saline fluids, under lithostatic pressure, within the mantle wedge, or the slab itself. The fluids produce a mechanically weakened and buoyant zone within the mantle wedge due to high pore pressure between mineral grains and reduced mantle density. During the lifetime of a subduction zone, a substantial accumulation of saline fluids within the mantle wedge and crust, is evident. Deep, fluid reservoirs accumulate between the subduction trench and the volcanic front. They may exist for hundreds of millions of years, even after the extinction of the subduction zone. Saline fluids may escape to the surface along deep faults, due to overfilling of available pores/fractures. Fluids within the mantle wedge may form rock melts or exist as supercritical, mineral rich fluids. The combination of reduced pressure due to rifting, and a saline and buoyant mantle, creates a mantle circulation that brings the accumulated, saline fluids, to crustal levels. Salts will therefore accumulate during initial stages of rifting as a result of massive fluid expulsion, phase change and boiling of mantle fluids. No extra energy is required to produce phase change and boiling. The result is formation of solid salts or dense brines/slurries invading fractured crustal rocks, or escaping to the surface/seabed. This process may take place both before and after the sea has invaded a continental rift.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201709.0079.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geophysics Keywords: EGS; crustal permeability; finite element flow modelling; crustal wellbore temperatures; wellbore injection; well logs; well core
Online: 18 September 2017 (12:01:16 CEST)
We use Matlab 3D finite element fluid flow/transport modelling to simulate localized wellbore temperature events of order 0.05-0.1oC logged in Fennoscandia basement rock at ~ 1.5km depths. The temperature events are approximated as steady-state heat transport due to fluid draining from the crust into the wellbore via naturally occurring fracture-connectivity structures. Flow simulation is based on the empirics of spatially-correlated fracture-connectivity fluid flow widely attested by well-log, well-core, and well-production data. Matching model wellbore-centric radial temperature profiles to a 2D analytic expression for steady-state radial heat transport with Peclet number Pe ≡ r0φv0/D (r0 = wellbore radius, v0 = Darcy velocity at r0, φ = ambient porosity, D = rock-water thermal diffusivity), gives Pe ~ 10-15 for fracture-connectivity flow intersecting the well, and Pe ~ 0 for ambient crust. Darcy flow for model Pe ~ 10 at radius ~ 10 meters from the wellbore gives permeability estimate κ ~ 0.02Darcy for flow driven by differential fluid pressure between least principal crustal stress pore pressure and hydrostatic wellbore pressure. Model temperature event flow permeability κm ~ 0.02Darcy is related to well-core ambient permeability κ ~ 1µDarcy by empirical poroperm relation κm ~ κ exp(αmφ) for φ ~ 0.01 and αm ~ 1000. Our modelling of wellbore temperature events calibrates the concept of reactivating fossilized fracture-connectivity flow for EGS permeability stimulation of basement rock.