Journal article

The truth and beauty of chemical potentials

R Powell, KA Evans, ECR Green, RW White

JOURNAL OF METAMORPHIC GEOLOGY | WILEY | Published : 2019

Abstract

This essay in honour of Mike Brown addresses aspects of chemical equilibrium and equilibration in rocks, with a focus on the role that chemical potentials play. Chemical equilibrium is achieved by diffusive flattening of chemical potential gradients. The idea of equilibration volume is developed, and the way equilibration volumes may evolve along a pressure–temperature path is discussed. The effect of the environment of an equilibration volume is key to understanding the evolution of the equilibration volume with changing conditions. The likely behaviour of equilibration volumes is used to suggest why preservation of equilibrium mineral assemblages and mineral compositions from metamorphism ..

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