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Effects of hydrothermal activity on clay mineral diagenesis in Miocene shales and sandstones from the Ulleung (Tsushima) back-arc basin, East Sea (Sea of Japan), Korea

  • S. Hillier (a1), B. K. Son (a2) and B. Velde (a3)

Abstract

Clay mineral assemblages in both shales and sandstones of Miocene age have been studied in a well from the Ulleung Basin, a back-arc basin in the East Sea. Samples were examined from burial depths of ~800 to 3000 m. At the shallowest depths the shales contain assemblages dominated by R0 mixed-layer illite-smectite (I-S) together with illite, kaolinite and minor chlorite. The sandstones also contain I-S, but are dominated by large amounts of authigenic kaolinite. In both shales and sandstones I-S becomes R1 ordered at ~ 1000 m depth and at 2000 m depth, and deeper, I-S expandabilities are <20%. At ~ 2400 m depth, kaolinite in the sandstones is replaced by abundant Li-tosudite, indicating that clay mineral diagenesis has been affected by a hydrothermal episode. Furthermore, organic maturity data indicate that much of the succession has experienced considerably higher temperatures in the past. Vitrinite reflectance data are best modelled by a short lived (0.1–0.01 Ma) heating event in the Pliocene. This suggests that the shallow depths over which the smectite to illite reaction is completed and the extensive kaolinitization of the Miocene sandstones may also be related to the hydrothermal event.

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Effects of hydrothermal activity on clay mineral diagenesis in Miocene shales and sandstones from the Ulleung (Tsushima) back-arc basin, East Sea (Sea of Japan), Korea

  • S. Hillier (a1), B. K. Son (a2) and B. Velde (a3)

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