The change in permeability with time of granite, quartzite, anorthosite and gabbro was measured while these rocks were subjected to a temperature gradient. Permeability reductions of up to two orders of magnitude were observed, with the greatest reactions occurring in the quartzite. These changes are thought to be caused by dissolution of minerals at high temperatures, and redeposition of the dissolved material at lower temperatures. Quartz appears to be an important mineral in this self-sealing process. If very low permeability is desired around a nuclear waste repository in crystalline rocks, then a quartz-rich rock may be the most appropriate host.