Office of Academic Affairs
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Bhopal

Earth and Environmental Sciences

EES 512/513: Mineral Thermodynamics (4)

Prerequisites (Desirable): All EES 400 level courses

Learning Objectives:

Estimation of pressure-temperature (P-T) conditions of rocks is of fundamental importance for understanding the tectonic processes and large-scale vertical movement of materials at great depth within the Earth. In the last four decades, considerable progress has been achieved in understanding the tectono-thermal evolution of rocks by using systematic analysis of compositional properties and phase relations of their mineral assemblages. This course aims to use the concept of classical thermodynamics and solution models to understand the nature of mineral reactions using modern computational techniques.

Course Contents:

Rock forming minerals and chemical thermodynamics.

Overview of Mineralogy: 
Systematic classifications of minerals, determination of structural formulae based on the chemical analyses; Silicate Minerals - classification, chemical structure, mode of occurrence.

Introduction to Thermodynamics:
Free energy in the form of heat and work, first and second laws of thermodynamics, entropy, enthalpy, and third law of thermodynamics, Gibbs free energy and mineralogical phase rule, phase transformation and polymorphism, elementary phase diagrams for common rock forming minerals.

Thermodynamics of Solutions:
Concept of solid solution in mineralogy, conservative and non-conservative components of solutions, chemical potential, chemical equilibrium, fugacity and activity of a component in solution.

Thermal Pressure, Earth’s Interior and Adiabatic Processes:
Thermal pressure, adiabatic temperature gradient, temperature gradients in the Earth’s crust, mantle and core, isotropic melting in the Earth’s interior, the Earth’s mantle and core: linking thermodynamics and seismic velocities.

Element Formation in Geological Systems:
Fractionation of major elements, exchange equilibrium and distribution coefficient, temperature and pressure dependence of distribution coefficient, compositional dependence of distribution coefficient, trace element fractionation between mineral and melt, metal-silicate fractionation -  magma ocean and core formation; Pressure dependence of metal-silicate partition coefficients.
Thermodynamics for Igneous Systems:
Lever rule for igneous system, correlation of mineral paragenesis and Gibbs free energy in binary and ternary systems, introduction to MELTS family of algorithm.

Thermodynamics of Metamorphic Systems:
Definition, condition and type of metamorphism, primary mineral assemblage and mineral paragenesis in metamorphic rock, graphical representation of mineral para-genesis and free energy of metamorphic reactions, examples of metamorphic phase diagrams.

Introduction to Computational Phase Equilibrium:
Forward and Backward modelling of igneous and metamorphic reaction textures, calculation of Gibbs free energy of complex chemical systems using computational software THERMOCALC, PERPLEX and Domino-Theriak

Suggested Readings :

  1. PatiñoDouce, A., 2011, Thermodynamics of the Earth and Planets, Cambridge University Press.
  2. Ganguly, J., 2010, Thermodynamics in Earth and Planetary Science, Springer.
  3. Ganguly, J., and Saxena, S., 2012, Mixtures and Mineral Reactions, Springer.
  4. Philpotts, A., and Auge, J., 2009, Principles of Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (2nd Edition), Cambridge.
Previous Back to Course List Next