Modelling the evolution of vein microstructure with phase-field techniques – a first look



Vein microstructures in the Earth's crust contain a wealth of information on the physical conditions of crystal growth, but correct interpretation requires an improved understanding of the processes involved. In this paper the processes involved in the formation of veins are briefly reviewed, and the possibilities of modelling these processes using the phase-field method are discussed. This technique, which is established in the computational materials science community to investigate crystallization processes, is shown to be a powerful tool to describe processes during vein formation and other geological processes involving crystal growth.