Etude expérimentale de l'eau et de solutions aqueuses métastables : implications pour le milieu naturel

Abstract : Stretched (tensile) liquid water is a metastable liquid which persists at negative pressures inthe stability field of vapour. The lifetime of metastability is limited. Tensions down to - 1400 bar havebeen specifically measured in aqueous inclusions inside quartz monocrystals. Vapour nucleation (Tn)marks the end of metastability. The destructive effects related to vapour nucleation in transientlytensile fluids are observed in nature: phreato-magmatic explosions, geysers. Modelling the kinetics oftensile water is critical in order to control the risks associated to metastable liquids. Quartz-hostedsynthetic fluid inclusions (FI) with known densities and chemistries have been placed into themetastable tensile field by isochoric cooling and their Tn have been measured. We show that thetensile strength of water in individual FI depends on the FI volume and shape, the method used tosynthetize the FI and the fluid chemistry. Experiments on metastability lifetimes have been performedby placing FI at temperatures 0.5° to 10°C above th eir Tn. Eigth FI were chosen that encompass thediversity of FI volumes, shapes, densities, fluid chemistries and tensile strengths. Our results showthat tensile water lifetimes are all the shorter as the trapped water is more stretched. An empiricalkinetic law is proposed that allows the lifetimes of tensile water in FI to be calculated as a function ofthe FI volume and Tn. Our data can also be reconciled with the Classical Nucleation Theory. Our datafinally show that water in natural porous reservoirs can remain stretched for geologically-relevanttimescales. Tensile water can therefore control fluid-rock interactions in the continental crust.
Keywords : Metastable water
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Mouna El Mekki-Azouzi. Etude expérimentale de l'eau et de solutions aqueuses métastables : implications pour le milieu naturel. Sciences de la Terre. Université d'Orléans, 2010. Français. ⟨NNT : 2010ORLE2017⟩. ⟨tel-00575769⟩

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