New Topics Meeting 1, 2020 – Diffusion

Diffusion in Minerals, Rocks and Melts: Potential and Pitfalls – Meeting Report

Image Courtesy of Victoria Martin

This meeting, the first of a new series, reviewed recent work in diffusion modelling and its application to a range of geological problems. How good (or not) can models be? What are the limits of what can be stated from our models? What are the pitfalls?

In his introductory words, Prof. Bruce Yardley, President of the Mineralogical Society noted: “Increasingly diffusion is an applied topic. In recent years it has become important for volcanologists, for example, but equally, it is important for understanding the disposal of radioactive waste. So, there’s a lot of very varied applications and the same underlying laws are operable whatever the pressure and temperature conditions and whatever the environment. You just have to understand whatever it is you are studying: a crystal or a whole rock. Hopefully over the course of the meeting, we will focus on some of these themes. We’ll talk about the fundamentals. Some are precise and narrowly defined. Others are broader. Some of our delegates are students, and others are specialists. Even the experts will hear things which make them think about their own work.

Speaker Title + Abstract  
Katharina Marquardt Grain boundary diffusion: bicrystal studies Video
Thomas Mueller Getting the t into the P-T-t path – deciphering timescales of tectono-metamorphic processes using diffusion chronometry Video
Sumit Chakraborty Diffusion: Ubiquitous and local Video
Roy Wogelius Reaction kinetics and diffusive transport in low permeability geological systems Video
Panel Discussion 1   Video
Clare Warren Diffusion and thermochronology: Theory and geological reality Video
Daniel Morgan Simple diffusion chronometry in igneous systems – methods, results and limitations Video
Chiara Petrone Elemental diffusion chronostratigraphy: a non-isothermal approach to magma dynamics Video
Euan J. Mutch and John Maclennan Exploring uncertainty structure in diffusion timescales using Bayesian analysis of finite element models: Applications to magma storage and transport Video
Discussion   Video
Acknowledgements   Video

Some of the speakers provided a listof “basic references” for those interested in further reading.

Here also is a link to a website created by Dan Morgan which has the aim to “explore the use of diffusion based methods in geological materials, with an initial focus on volcanic and igneous materials”. 

  • Bosse, V. and Villa, I.M., 2019. Petrochronology and hygrochronology of tectono-metamorphic events. Gondwana research, 71, pp.76-90 .
  • Cooper, K. M. (2017). What does a magma reservoir look like? The crystal’s-eye view. Elements, 13(1), 23-28, doi: 10.2113/gselements.13.1.23
  • Cooper, K. M., & Kent, A. J. R. (2014). Rapid remobilization of magmatic crystals kept in cold storage. Nature, 506(7489), 480–18. doi:10.1038/nature12991.
  • Costa F., Shea T., Ubide T., 2020. Diffusion chronometry and the timescales of magmatic processes, Nat. Rev. Earth Envi., doi:10.1038/s43017-020-0038-x
  • Costa, F., Dohmen, R., & Chakraborty, S. (2008). Time Scales of Magmatic Processes from Modeling the Zoning Patterns of Crystals, Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry, 69(1), 545–594. doi:10.2138/rmg.2008.69.14.
  • Fetter, C.W. Contaminant Hydrogeology. Prentice-Hall (1999).
  • Ketcham, R.A., 2005. Forward and inverse modeling of low-temperature thermochronometry data. Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry, 58(1), pp.275-314.
  • Malusà, M.G. and Fitzgerald, P.G., 2019. Application of thermochronology to geologic problems: bedrock and detrital approaches. In Fission-Track Thermochronology and its Application to Geology (pp. 191-209). Springer, Cham.
  • Mangler M., Petrone C.M., Hill S., Delgado-Granados H., Prytulak J., 2020, A pyroxenic view on magma hybirdization and crystallization at Popocatepetl volcano, Mexico. Frontiers in Earth Sciences, 8, 362,
  • Metcalfe R., Milodowski A.E., Field L.P., Wogelius R.A., Carpenter G., Yardley B., and Norris S. (2020) Natural analogue evidence for controls on radionuclide uptake by fractured crystalline rock, Applied Geochemistry, in press:
  • Neretnieks, I. Diffusion in the rock matrix: An important factor in radionuclide retardation? Journal of Geophysical Research 85, 4379-4397 (1980).
  • Ohe T., Zou B., Noshita K., Gomez-Morilla I., Jeynes C., Morris P.M., and Wogelius R.A. (2012) Adsorption and Diffusion of Sr in Simulated Rock Fractures Quantified via Ion Beam Analysis, Mineralogical Magazine 76, 3203-3215.
  • Petrone C.M., Braschi E., Francalanci L., Casalini, M. Tommasini S., 2018. Rapid mixing and short storage timescales in the magma dynamics of a steady-state volcano. EPSL, 492, 206-221,
  • Petrone C.M., Bugatti G., Braschi E., Tommasini S., 2016. Pre-eruptive magmatic processes re-timed using a non-isothermal approach to magma chamber dynamics. Nat. Commun. 7, 12946 doi: 10.1038/ncomms12946
  • Reiners, P.W., Ehlers, T.A. and Zeitler, P.K., 2005. Past, present, and future of thermochronology. Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry, 58(1), pp.1-18.
  • Vermeesch, P. and Tian, Y., 2014. Thermal history modelling: HeFTy vs. QTQt. Earth-Science Reviews, 139, pp.279-290.
  • Villa, I.M. and Hanchar, J.M., 2017. Age discordance and mineralogy. American Mineralogist, 102(12), pp.2422-2439.
  • Villa, I.M., 2016. Diffusion in mineral geochronometers: Present and absent. Chemical Geology, 420, pp.1-10.
  • Wogelius R.A.,  Milodowski A.E., Field L.P., Metcalfe R., Lowe T., van Veelen A., Carpenter G., Norris S., and Yardley B. (2020) Mineral reaction kinetics constrain the length scale of rock matrix diffusion, Scientific Reports 10 (1), 1-19.
  • Wogelius, R.A. & Vaughan, D.J. Analytical, Experimental, and Computational Methods in Environmental Mineralogy, in Environmental Mineralogy II, EMU Notes in Mineralogy vol. 13, Chapter 2, Vaughan, D.J. & Wogelius, R.A. [editors] (2013).
  • Zou B., Ohe T. and Wogelius R.A., Effects of velocity and concentration on diffusive transport in low permeability geological systems, Applied Geochemistry 63, 357-365.

The meeting was supported by:

The Applied Mineralogy Group

The Metamorphic Studies Group

The Volcanic and Magmatic Studies Group