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Fluid-rock interaction

Master course offered annually in the summer semester

The course is devoted to processes of interaction of rocks with water and aqueous fluids near the Earth’s surface and under geothermal and hydrothermal conditions. It consists of three conceptual blocks: (i) types of water and other fluids in the lithosphere and review of basics of aqueous chemistry; (ii) mineral solubility and controls on water chemistry in near-surface environments and during weathering; (iii) behavior of fluids at higher temperatures in hydrothermal, ore-forming and geothermal systems including interpretation of rock alteration. This module is recommended to students enrolled in geochemistry, mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry, hydrology, hydrogeology, engineering geology or environmental sciences.

Instructor: Prof. David Dolejš

Course contents

Water and other fluids in the lithosphere and their chemistry

  • Hydrological cycle, types of water
  • Chemical equilibria in aqueous solutions

Near-surface environments

  • Speciation in water
  • Mineral and gas solubility, closed and open system reactions
  • Mineral transformations, activity-activity diagrams
  • Weathering, surface water chemistry and its mass balance

Hydrothermal ore-forming and geothermal systems

  • Thermodynamics of aqueous species
  • Ligands, complexes and speciation calculations
  • Alteration in temperature and pressure gradients
  • Geochemistry of altered rocks and interpretation of mass changes
  • Reactive flow models, examples of ore-forming and geothermal systems

Course materials are available in the university e-learning system (ILIAS)

Recommended reading (selected chapters)

  • Drever J.I., 1997. Geochemistry of Natural Waters (3rd edition). Prentice Hall, 440 p.
  • Faure G., Principles and Applications of Geochemistry (2nd edition). Prentice Hall, 625 p.
  • Richards J.P., Larson P.B., eds., 1998. Techniques in Hydrothermal Ore Deposits Geology. Reviews in Economic Geology 10, 256 p.
  • Anderson G. M., 2005. Thermodynamics of Natural Systems. Cambridge University Press, 648 p.

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