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High-charge to low-charge smectite reaction in hydrothermal alteration processes

  • A. Bouchet (a1), D. Proust (a1), A. Meunier (a1) and D. Beaufort (a1)


Illite/smectite mixed-layered minerals (I/S) occurring in hydrothermally altered dacite from the island of Martinique were studied using X-ray powder diffraction, electron microprobe and CEC measurement techniques. Microprobe analyses and X-ray identification of high- and low-charge smectite layers indicate that the I/S hydrothermal alteration operates from wall-rock to hydrothermal veins, with conversion of high-charge to low-charge smectite and formation of illite layers. The overall alteration reaction can be expressed as: mixed-layered high-charge smectite + Si4+ + K+ → mixed-layered low-charge smectite + illite. This reaction requires Si and K from external sources and differs from the currently invoked mechanisms for diagenetic illitization where Si is released. The proposed reaction appears, therefore, to be the first step of I/S alteration under low-temperature hydrothermal conditions, prior to the crystallization of newly-formed I/S.



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High-charge to low-charge smectite reaction in hydrothermal alteration processes

  • A. Bouchet (a1), D. Proust (a1), A. Meunier (a1) and D. Beaufort (a1)


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