A major goal of the Deep Carbon Observatory is to understand the rates at which carbon-bearing materials move and transform within Earth. However, analyzing the kinetics of systems with many phases and chemical components is often intractably complex. New kinetic modelling software authored by DCO postdoctoral scholar Daniel Hummer could enable the analysis of previously unexplored systems .
The software, named “MinKin” for “Mineral Kinetics,” allows users to input time series data for up to three mineral species plus two more species in a coexisting fluid. The program then uses a powerful optimization technique called “Differential Evolution” to identify the rates of every individual reaction happening in the system – even for systems affected by many simultaneous reactions. This software could enable DCO scientists, as well as many other researchers working on complex Earth systems, to tease apart rates of individual reactions for the first time. For example, the dissolution and precipitation of carbonate minerals in subduction zone fluids could be simultaneously calculated in the presence of other minerals.
The new method will appear in the upcoming issue of Chemical Geology.
Image: A schematic diagram of the type of system MinKin was designed to solve: a fluid and two minerals, with reactions taking place between the three. Adapted from .