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The smectite to corrensite transition: X-ray diffraction results from the MH-2B core, western Snake River Plain, Idaho, USA

  • Jeff Walker (a1) and Joseph Wheeler (a1)


The MH-2B borehole, a part of Project HOTSPOT, was drilled to a depth of 1821 m in late Cenozoic basalts, hyaloclastites and interbedded lake sediments, on the Mountain Home Air Force Base in southern Idaho, USA. Drillers encountered hot water (145°C) under artesian pressure at 1745 m in a narrow zone of highly fractured rock associated with a major sub-surface fault. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis identified corrensite (with and without smectite) between 1700 and 1800 m, but only smectite above 1700 m and below 1800 m. This corrensite horizon contains a relatively narrow zone of fracturing and hot artesian water near its centre but for the most part occurs in relatively massive basalt flows. No evidence was found for randomly interstratified chlorite-smectite.


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This work was originally presented during the session ‘The many faces of chlorite’, part of the Euroday 2015 conference held in July 2015, in Edinburgh, UK.



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The smectite to corrensite transition: X-ray diffraction results from the MH-2B core, western Snake River Plain, Idaho, USA

  • Jeff Walker (a1) and Joseph Wheeler (a1)


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