- © The Mineralogical Society Of America
Evidence of fluid immiscibility in metamorphic rocks comes, in the best of all worlds, from fluid inclusion observations. In fact, fluid immiscibility should be anticipated over the full range of metamorphic conditions provided that appropriate bulk fluid compositions are present. In a review paper entitled “Metamorphic Fluids: the Evidence from Fluid Inclusions,” Crawford and Hollister (1986) summarized: “The role of fluid immiscibility in metamorphism was only recognized after serious study of fluid inclusions in metamorphic rocks was underway in the late 1970s and has yet to attract the attention of more than a handful of petrologists studying metamorphic rocks.” Since then, tremendous progress has been made. A huge amount of fluid inclusion studies have convincingly shown that immiscible fluids can be present in rocks of all bulk compositions and at all P-T conditions. Thermodynamic databases of minerals, solid solutions and fluid mixtures along with the development of Gibbs free energy minimization programs now allow for detailed prediction of the evolution of phase assemblages and mineral compositions in P-T space. Significant progress has also been made in understanding reaction kinetics, diffusional and convective mass transport and the interpretation of fluid-rock interaction during metamorphism. Given the vast fluid inclusion evidence of immiscibility it would appear, however, that phase petrology and mass transport in any specific rock where fluids are involved are not correctly interpreted if possible or proven immiscibility is not considered. Relatively few studies directly link mineral reactions with immiscible fluids. Therefore, this review aims at working out the effects of fluid immiscibility on the progress of metamorphic reactions and fluid transport over a wide range of conditions.
Questions arise directly from the fluid inclusion record in metamorphic rocks. This chapter, however, is organized the other way round. At first it summarizes phase relations of fluid systems pertinent to …