Quantification transfer rates for metamorphic carbon to Earth´s surface

Project leader

Funding source

Swedish Research Council - Vetenskapsrådet (VR)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2012
End date: 31/12/2015
Funding: 1817000 SEK


The aim of the proposed research is to measure the rate at which carbon, released during orogenesis by metamorphic reactions, migrates to the Earth?s surface along vein networks. The purpose of conducting this research is to clarify the role of orogenesis in the long term carbon cycle. It is widely accepted that orogenesis causes accelerated carbon drawdown by promoting silicate weathering and thus provides a sink for atmospheric carbon. There is also an emerging consensus that carbon released by metamorphic reactions during orogenesis and carried by metamorphic fluids reaches the atmosphere. Both time-integrated and time-averaged fluxes for these metamorphic fluids are known for rocks at metamorphic conditions. Preliminary findings suggests that these metamorphic carbon flux rates are similar to metamorphic carbon emission rates from orogenic hot springs but significantly larger than rates of carbon drawdown by silicate weathering. However, the rate of carbon transfer from the metamorphic environment to the surface and the extent to which carbon is lost along the flow path by e.g. precipitation as carbonate minerals in veins, remains unknown. To address this gap in our knowledge, I will use stable isotopes, fluid inclusion analysis and chromatographic modeling to evaluate time-integrated and time-averaged fluxes for carbon and to assess variability of instantaneous fluxes, by using vein networks in the well-studied SW Scottish Highlands as a natural laboratory.

Last updated on 2017-31-03 at 12:56