A layer-by-layer mechanism explains important features of mixed-layer clay minerals formed during the illitization of smectite, including the occurrence of randomly interstratified illite/smectite, the transition to ordered interstratifications, and the development of long-range ordering. A variety of solid-state transformation mechanisms were tested with a stochastic model, which accounts for interactions among clay layers. The model produces most successful results when the reaction of smectite layers with one illite nearest neighbour is favoured by a factor of approx two over smectite with no illite neighbours, and over those with two illite neighbours by a factor of ten or more. XRD powder patterns calculated from model results compare well with those of illite/smectite minerals. These results suggest a new kinetic rate law. Solutions to this rate law for reaction within sediments undergoing burial give mineralogical profiles with depth similar to those observed in subsiding sedimentary basins.-J.M.H.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Water Science and Technology
- Soil Science
- Geochemistry and Petrology
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)