Global geochemical cycles maintain the Earth in a more-or-less steady state. Fluid-rock interaction is a major process, which helps sustain these geochemical cycles. Fluids move through the crust along faults and fractures, and are responsible for mass transport of elements and nutrients from the deep crust to near-surface environments. Thermal (e.g., magmatic) and tectonic events are two key drivers for fluid movement. Some of these fluids are responsible for the formation of important exploitable energy-related geological resources, including fossil fuels, geothermal, fissionable materials and metals.
During fluid-rock interaction, minerals can form that are diagnostic of the fluids. For example, chemical and isotopic analysis of these minerals can provide valuable information regarding the timing of when the fluid passed along a fault or fracture and the type of fluid (magmatic, rainwater, brine etc.). These signatures of fluid-rock interactions can affect 1000s of km3 of rock (e.g., sedimentary basins, metamorphic haloes around igneous intrusions) and are often used to explore for natural resources. The Geochemistry theme within CCArray will study the role of faults as conduits for magmatic and hydrothermal activity in western Canada using novel geochemical and geochronological techniques.
For more information, please contact:
Geochemistry Theme Lead
Banner Image: The Nopal I Deposit by Mostafa Fayek