Infiltration of basinal fluids into high-grade basement, South Norway: sources and behaviour of waters and brines

Gleeson, S.A., Yardley, B.W., Munz, I.A. and Boyce, A.J. (2003) Infiltration of basinal fluids into high-grade basement, South Norway: sources and behaviour of waters and brines. Geofluids, 3(1), pp. 33-48. (doi: 10.1046/j.1468-8123.2003.00047.x)

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Quartz veins hosted by the high-grade crystalline rocks of the Modum complex, Southern Norway, formed when basinal fluids from an overlying Palaeozoic foreland basin infiltrated the basement at temperatures of c.220degreesC (higher in the southernmost part of the area). This infiltration resulted in the formation of veins containing both two-phase and halite-bearing aqueous fluid inclusions, sometimes with bitumen and hydrocarbon inclusions. Microthermometric results demonstrate a very wide range of salinities of aqueous fluids preserved in these veins, ranging from c. 0 to 40 wt% NaCl equivalent. The range in homogenization temperatures is also very large (99-322degreesC for the entire dataset) and shows little or no correlation with salinity. A combination of aqueous fluid microthermometry, halogen geochemistry and oxygen isotope studies suggest that fluids from a range of separate aquifers were responsible for the quartz growth, but all have chemistries comparable to sedimentary formation waters. The bulk of the quartz grew from relatively low delta(18)O fluids derived directly from the basin or equilibrated in the upper part of the basement (T< 200degreesC). Nevertheless, some fluids acquired higher salinities due to deep wall-rock hydration reactions leading to salt saturation at high temperatures (>300degreesC). The range in fluid inclusion homogenization temperatures and densities, combined with estimates of the ambient temperature of the basement rocks suggests that at different times veins acted as conduits for influx of both hotter and colder fluids, as well as experiencing fluctuations in fluid pressure. This is interpreted to reflect episodic flow linked to seismicity, with hotter dry basement rocks acting as a sink for cooler fluids from the overlying basin, while detailed flow paths reflected local effects of opening and closing of individual fractures as well as reaction with wall rocks. Thermal considerations suggest that the duration of some flow events was very short, possibly in the order of days. As a result of the complex pattern of fracturing and flow in the Modum basement, it was possible for shallow fluids to penetrate basement rocks at significantly higher temperatures, and this demonstrates the potential for hydrolytic weakening of continental crust by sedimentary fluids.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Boyce, Professor Adrian
Authors: Gleeson, S.A., Yardley, B.W., Munz, I.A., and Boyce, A.J.
Subjects:Q Science > QE Geology
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Geofluids
Publisher:Blackwell Publishing
Published Online:17 February 2003

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