The extent of hydrogen and oxygen isotope exchange between clay minerals and water has been measured in the temperature range 100-350?? for bomb runs of up to almost 2 years. Hydrogen isotope exchange between water and the clays was demonstrable at 100??. Exchange rates were 3-5 times greater for montmorillonite than for kaolinite or illite and this is attributed to the presence of interlayer water in the montmorillonite structure. Negligible oxygen isotope exchange occurred at these low temperatures. The great disparity in D and O18 exchange rates observed in every experiment demonstrates that hydrogen isotope exchange occurred by a mechanism of proton exchange independent of the slower process of O18 exchange. At 350?? kaolinite reacted to form pyrophyllite and diaspore. This was accompanied by essentially complete D exchange but minor O18 exchange and implies that intact structural units in the pyrophyllite were inherited from the kaolinite precursor. ?? 1976.
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Hydrogen and oxygen isotope exchange reactions between clay minerals and water