Does reactive surface area depend on grain size? Results from pH 3, 25 circle C far-from-equilibrium flow-through dissolution experiments on anorthite and biotite
Hodson, M. E. (2006) Does reactive surface area depend on grain size? Results from pH 3, 25 circle C far-from-equilibrium flow-through dissolution experiments on anorthite and biotite. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 70 (7). pp. 1655-1667. ISSN 0016-7037
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2006.01.001
Laboratory determined mineral weathering rates need to be normalised to allow their extrapolation to natural systems. The principle normalisation terms used in the literature are mass, and geometric- and BET specific surface area (SSA). The purpose of this study was to determine how dissolution rates normalised to these terms vary with grain size. Different size fractions of anorthite and biotite ranging from 180-150 to 20-10 mu m were dissolved in pH 3, HCl at 25 degrees C in flow through reactors under far from equilibrium conditions. Steady state dissolution rates after 5376 h (anorthite) and 4992 h (biotite) were calculated from Si concentrations and were normalised to initial- and final- mass and geometric-, geometric edge- (biotite), and BET SSA. For anorthite, rates normalised to initial- and final-BET SSA ranged from 0.33 to 2.77 X 10(-10) mol(feldspar) m(-2) s(-1), rates normalised to initial- and final-geometric SSA ranged from 5.74 to 8.88 X 10(-10) mol(feldspar) m(-2) s(-1) and rates normalised to initial- and final-mass ranged from 0.11 to 1.65 mol(feldspar) g(-1) s(-1). For biotite, rates normalised to initial- and final-BET SSA ranged from 1.02 to 2.03 X 10(-12) mol(biotite) m(-2) s(-1), rates normalised to initial- and final-geometric SSA ranged from 3.26 to 16.21 X 10(-12) mol(biotite) m(-2) s(-1), rates normalised to initial- and final-geometric edge SSA ranged from 59.46 to 111.32 x 10(-12) mol(biotite) m(-2) s(-1) and rates normalised to initial- and final-mass ranged from 0.81 to 6.93 X 10(-12) mol(biotite) g(-1) s(-1). For all normalising terms rates varied significantly (p <= 0.05) with grain size. The normalising terms which gave least variation in dissolution rate between grain sizes for anorthite were initial BET SSA and initial- and final-geometric SSA. This is consistent with: (1) dissolution being dominated by the slower dissolving but area dominant non-etched surfaces of the grains and, (2) the walls of etch pits and other dissolution features being relatively unreactive. These steady state normalised dissolution rates are likely to be constant with time. Normalisation to final BET SSA did not give constant ratios across grain size due to a non-uniform distribution of dissolution features. After dissolution coarser grains had a greater density of dissolution features with BET-measurable but unreactive wall surface area than the finer grains. The normalising term which gave the least variation in dissolution rates between grain sizes for biotite was initial BET SSA. Initial- and final-geometric edge SSA and final BET SSA gave the next least varied rates. The basal surfaces dissolved sufficiently rapidly to influence bulk dissolution rate and prevent geometric edge SSA normalised dissolution rates showing the least variation. Simple modelling indicated that biotite grain edges dissolved 71-132 times faster than basal surfaces. In this experiment, initial BET SSA best integrated the different areas and reactivities of the edge and basal surfaces of biotite. Steady state dissolution rates are likely to vary with time as dissolution alters the ratio of edge to basal surface area. Therefore they would be more properly termed pseudo-steady state rates, only appearing constant because the time period over which they were measured (1512 h) was less than the time period over wich they would change significantly. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.