A continuum theory for mineral solid solutions undergoing chemo-mechanical processes

Santiago P. Clavijo, Luis Espath, Adel Sarmiento, Victor M. Calo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


AbstractRecent studies on metamorphic petrology as well as microstructural observations suggest the influence of mechanical effects upon chemically active metamorphic minerals. Thus, the understanding of such a coupling is crucial to describe the dynamics of geomaterials. In this effort, we derive a thermodynamically consistent framework to characterize the evolution of chemically active minerals. We model the metamorphic mineral assemblages as a solid-species solution where the species mass transport and chemical reaction drive the stress generation process. The theoretical foundations of the framework rely on modern continuum mechanics, thermodynamics far from equilibrium, and the phase-field model. We treat the mineral solid solution as a continuum body, and following the Larché and Cahn network model, we define displacement and strain fields. Consequently, we obtain a set of coupled chemo-mechanical equations. We use the aforementioned framework to study single minerals as solid solutions during metamorphism. Furthermore, we emphasise the use of the phase-field framework as a promising tool to model complex multi-physics processes in geoscience. Without loss of generality, we use common physical and chemical parameters found in the geoscience literature to portrait a comprehensive view of the underlying physics. Thereby, we carry out 2D and 3D numerical simulations using material parameters for mineral solid solutions to showcase and verify the chemo-mechanical interactions of mineral solid solutions that undergo spinodal decomposition, chemical reactions, and deformation.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalContinuum Mechanics and Thermodynamics
StatePublished - Jul 19 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-07-26
Acknowledgements: We are indebted to Professor Eliot Fried. We had many exhaustive discussions in which he gave us valuable ideas, constructive comments, and encouragement. This publication was made possible in part by the CSIRO Professorial Chair in Computational Geoscience at Curtin University and the Deep Earth Imaging Enterprise Future Science Platforms of the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation, CSIRO, of Australia. The European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 777778. Lastly, we acknowledge the support provided at Curtin University by Curtin Combustion Centre, The Institute for Geoscience Research (TIGeR) and by the Curtin Institute for Computation.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • General Materials Science


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