A unifying basis for the interplay of stress and chemical processes in the Earth: support from diverse experiments

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John Wheeler


The Earth is under stress on all scales from individual grains to the entire crust and mantle. Mineral reactions, including pressure solution and diffusion creep, occur in that context. Whilst the effect of pressure on mineral reactions is understood through well established thermodynamics, the effect of stress on mineral reactions is not. Here I show that a particular equation linking stress and chemistry underpins the interpretations of diverse experiments from the last 80 years. Consequently I suggest it may provide a unifying basis to explain and quantify many significant but incompletely understood phenomena in which reactions interact with stress in the Earth.




Earth Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Chemistry, Kinetics, Metamorphism, Mineral physics, Nonhydrostatic thermodynamics, Stress, Thermodynamics


Published: 2020-08-20 12:39

Last Updated: 2020-10-24 11:23

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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