4D porosity evolution during pressure-solution of NaCl in the presence of phyllosilicates

Alice Macente, Florian Fusseis, Ian B. Butler, Erika Tudisco, Stephen A. Hall, Edward Andò

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pressure-solution creep is one of the most common crustal deformation mechanisms, inducing changes in the porosity and permeability of rocks. For a variety of rock types undergoing pressure solution, it has been shown that the presence of phyllosilicates may significantly enhance the rate of the pressure-solution process. In this experimental investigation, we present 4-dimensional (three dimensions + time) X-ray microtomographic data that contrast deformation by pressure-solution of a pure NaCl aggregate with that of a mixture of NaCl and biotite. The results show that for mixed samples (NaCl+biotite), phyllosilicates induce a marked reduction in porosity and pore connectivity and contribute to an increase in the local strain rates by an order of magnitude over pure NaCl samples. At the same time, phyllosilicates do not induce strain localization in the sample. We discuss various possible explanations for these observations including a possible positive feedback between the porosity distribution and pressure solution. Our study yields novel insights into the local effects of phyllosilicates during pressure-solution creep and provides full 4-dimensional imaging and characterization of the coupled evolution of porosity and pore connectivity over previously unprecedented experimental time scales.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-125
Number of pages11
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Nov 15

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Geotechnical Engineering

Free keywords

  • digital volume correlation
  • geochemical self-organization
  • phyllosilicates
  • pressure-solution creep
  • X-ray microtomography


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