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The Thermal Transformation of Smectite to Illite

  • A. M. Pytte
  • R. C. Reynolds

Abstract

Mixed-layered illite/smectite minerals composed of 80% illite layers have been identified from different argillaceous rocks that have been subjected to estimated peak temperatures that ranged from 250°C to 70°C, for durations of approximately 10 yr to 300 my. These observations strongly suggest that the reaction progress or extent is controlled by kinetic factors rather than by equilibrium factors. A sixth-order kinetic expression (first-order with respect to the pore-fluid activity ratio K/Na, and fifth-order with respect to the mole fraction of smectite) was successfully applied to the progressive illitization of smectite in the contact metamorphic zone adjacent to an 8.5-m-thick basalt dike that penetrates the upper Pierre Shale near Walsenberg, Colorado. The kinetic expression, together with its preexponential constant and activation energy (33 kcal/mol), provides a fair to good transformation model for a young geothermal sequence, and for burial diagenetic profiles that range in stratigraphic age from approximately a few million to 300 Ma.

The sixth-order model is an empirical device that explains the field evidence, but probably has little or no fundamental physical-chemical significance. The correct kinetic law is likely to be a chain of low-order reactions, each of which has kinetic constants that differ from the others.

Keywords

Clay Mineral Gulf Coast Reaction Profile Contact Metamorphism Burial Diagenesis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. M. Pytte
  • R. C. Reynolds

There are no affiliations available

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