Evolution of fluid chemistry in quartz compaction systems: Experimental investigations and numerical modeling Academic Article uri icon


  • The evolution of fluid chemistry in compacting rock is controlled by coupled chemical processes and rock deformation. In order to characterize this evolution, we conducted water-rock interaction experiments using quartz aggregates at 150 C and effective pressure of 34.5 MPa. A coupled fluid flow, chemical reaction, and creep compaction model is developed, in which both free-surface reaction and grain-contact dissolution are considered as system volume and porosity evolve. The direct experimental measurement and numerical modeling indicate that effective pressure has significant effects on pore-fluid chemistry. At the early stages of compaction, pore fluids are supersaturated with respect to bulk quartz. With increasing compaction and time, solute concentrations gradually decrease to saturated conditions. Supersaturation is caused mainly by dissolution of ultrafines and high-energy, unstable surfaces which are produced by stress concentrations at grain contacts during the very early stages of compaction. Grain-contact dissolution also contributes to the solute increase in pore fluid in the early stage of compaction, but the effect is small compared to that of ultrafines and unstable surfaces and only slight supersaturation can be produced by it. The gradual decrease in pore-fluid concentration is related to the mechanical removal of ultrafines by pore-fluid flow and the dissolution of ultrafines and unstable surfaces. It also results from the lessening of grain-contact dissolution. Pore fluids in compacting sedimentary basins of quartz sandstone are nearly saturated throughout most of diagenetic processes. Ultrafines and unstable surfaces produced by stress appear not to be the major sources of quartz cement. 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • He, W., Hajash, A., & Sparks, D.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • He, Wenwu||Hajash, Andrew||Sparks, David

publication date

  • January 2007