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Reactive transport modeling is an essential tool for the analysis of coupled physical, chemical, and biological processes in Earth systems, and has additional potential to better integrate the results from focused fundamental research on Earth materials.Appropriately designed models can describe the interactions of competing processes at a range of spatial and time scales, and hence are critical for connecting the advancing capabilities for materials characterization at the atomic scale with the macroscopic behavior of complex Earth systems.

In this transient upper mantle source region, variable CHO volatile mixtures control melting of peridotite in the absence of heat anomalies so that low-degree carbonated silicate melts may be permanently present at ambient mantle temperatures below 1400 °C.The global age distribution suggests that this form of mantle melting has been more prominent after 1.2 Ga, and notably between 250–50 Ma, than during early Earth history before 2 Ga (i.e., the Paleoproterozoic and Archean).Although preservation bias has been discussed as a possible reason for the skewed kimberlite age distribution, new treatment of an updated global database suggests that the apparent secular evolution of kimberlite and related CO200 km depth (1100–1400 °C) is the petrologically most feasible process that can produce high-Mg O carbonated silicate melts with enriched trace element concentrations akin to kimberlites.Frontier research questions, that are only now being addressed, include the effects of chemical microenvironments, coupled thermal–mechanical–chemical processes, controls on mineral–fluid reaction rates in natural media, and scaling of reactive transport processes from the microscopic to pore to field scale. Steefel is a Staff Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.He holds a BA degree in English Literature from Washington University, an MS degree in Geology from the University of Colorado, and a Ph D in Geochemistry from Yale University.

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