Investigating the Role of Dehydration Reactions in Subduction Zone Pore Pressures Using Newly-Developed Permeability-Porosity Relationships
Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Dehydration reactions are linked to shallow subduction zone deformation through excess pore pressures and their effect on mechanical properties. Two reactions, the transformation of smectite to illite and of opal-A to opal-CT and then to quartz, can occur relatively early in the subduction process and may affect the propagation of the plate boundary fault, the updip limit of velocity-weakening frictional paper, and tsunamigenesis. Due to large variations between subduction zones in heat flow, sedimentation rates, and geometries, dehydration location may peak prior to subduction to as much as 100 km landward of the deformation front. The location of the dehydration reaction peak relative to when compaction occurs, causes significant differences in pore pressure generation. As a result, a key element to modeling excess pore pressures due to dehydration reactions is the assumed relationship between permeability and porosity. Data from Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) drilling of subduction zone reference sites were combined with previously collected results to develop relationships for porosity-permeability behavior for various sediment types. Comparison with measurements of deeper analog data show that porosity-permeability trends are maintained through burial and diagenesis to porosities <10%, suggesting that behavior observed in shallow samples is informative for predicting behavior at depth following subduction. We integrate these permeability-porosity relationships, compaction behavior, predictions of temperature distribution, kinetic expressions for smectite and opal-A dehydration, into fluid flow models to examine the role of dehydration reactions in pore pressure generation.