EGU22-12215, updated on 28 Mar 2022
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Channelizing of melt flow by reactive porosity waves and its impact on chemical differentiation

Andrey Frendak1, Yury Alkhimenkov1,2, Lyudmila Khakimova1,2, Ivan Utkin1,3, Yury Podladchikov1,2, and Stefan Schmalholz2
Andrey Frendak et al.
  • 1Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia (
  • 2Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland (
  • 3Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology (VAW), ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland

Many geodynamic processes are coupled. For example, in the partially molten mantle, the solid and molten mantle phases interact chemically during porous melt flow. For such two-phase reactive melt migration, solid and melt densities are functions of temperature, pressure, and chemical composition. Numerical models of such coupled physical-chemical systems require special treatment of the various couplings and concise numerical implementation. We elaborate a 2-D thermo-hydro-mechanical-chemical (THMC) numerical model for melt migration by porosity waves coupled to chemical reactions (Bessat et. al., 2021). We consider a simple ternary chemical system of forsterite-fayalite-silica to model melt migration within partially molten peridotite around the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary. Our THMC model can simulate porosity waves of different shapes depending on the ratio of shear to bulk viscosity and the ratio of decompaction to compaction bulk viscosity. For an initial circular (blob-like) porosity perturbation, having a 2-D Gaussian shape, the geometry of the propagating reactive porosity wave remains blob-like if all viscosities are similar. If the decompaction bulk viscosity is smaller than the compaction bulk viscosity, so-called decompaction weakening, then the propagating porosity wave evolves into a channelized form. Our simulations quantify the variation from a blob-like to a channel-like porosity wave as a function of the viscosity ratios. We describe the 2-D THMC numerical algorithm which is based on the pseudo-transient finite difference method. Furthermore, we quantify the impact of channelization on the chemical differentiation during melt flow. Particularly, we quantify the evolution of the total silica concentration during melt migration as a function of the degree of channelization.


Bessat, A., Pilet, S., Podladchikov, Y. Y., & Schmalholz, S. M. (2022). Melt migration and chemical differentiation by reactive porosity waves. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. In press.  

How to cite: Frendak, A., Alkhimenkov, Y., Khakimova, L., Utkin, I., Podladchikov, Y., and Schmalholz, S.: Channelizing of melt flow by reactive porosity waves and its impact on chemical differentiation, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12215,, 2022.