Thermodynamic modelling of a cooling C-O-H fluid-graphite system: implications for hydrothermal graphite precipitation
Huizenga, Jan Marten
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Carbon-saturated crustal fluids in the C–O–H system comprise H2O, CO2 and CH4 as the most important fluid species. Graphite precipitation from a cooling C–O–H is discussed for two different systems, namely for a fluid–rock system in which no transfer of atomic oxygen and hydrogen between the fluid and the rock is possible (closed fluid system), and for an open fluid system. Thermodynamic model calculations show that the graphite-forming reactions and the graphite precipitation potential are different for these two systems. Furthermore, the calculations demonstrate that for both systems, the following factors play a role in determining the graphite precipitation potential, i.e. (1) the redox state of the fluid, (2) the initial pressure and temperature conditions and (3) whether cooling is combined with decompression. Open and closed fluid system graphite precipitation can be distinguished from each other using fluid inclusion and stable carbon isotope studies. The results of this study provide insight in the formation of hydrothermal graphite deposits.