Internal Evolution of the Water-Rock System: Nature and Mechanisms

  •  S. L. Shvartsev    


Self-running internal evolution was thought for a long time to be possible in living systems only but, as the modern synergetic theory implies, it may occur in inorganic complex systems as well. The internal evolution in nonliving systems may be driven by formation of coherent atomic bonds in nonequilibrium conditions, though no material proofs for such a hypothesis has been available. The water-rock system investigated in this study evolves spontaneously due to its intrinsically contradictory equilibrium-nonequilibrium nature. Natural waters can never reach equilibrium with some mafic and ultramafic minerals they dissolve but are in equilibrium with the secondary phases they produce while reacting with the ambient rocks. This is the intrinsic nonequilibrium of water with mantle-derived aluminosilicates that maintains the global-scale evolution of the water-rock system. The evolution continues, without exterior controls, at any time and in any place as long as there are rocks and water, and gives rise to diverse secondary minerals associated with waters of certain compositions.

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