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The nature and extent of the reactions of synthetic Fe-free saponite have been investigated under experimental hydrothermal conditions as a first step towards understanding saponite reactivity under relatively simple conditions. Saponite crystallizes from amorphous gel of ideal saponite composition within 7 days at 300o-550oC under P = 1 kbar. Reactions subsequent to this initial crystallization depend on reaction T and interlayer cations. Saponite is found to react hydrothermally, over a period of 200 days, at T down to 400oC, at least 150oC lower than previously reported, but showed no signs of reaction below 400oC. At 450oC, a mixture of talc/saponite and saponite/phlogopite clays forms from K-saponite via intracrystalline layer transformations, while above 450oC the initial K-saponite dissolves, with talc and phlogopite forming as discrete phases. After 200 days reactions at 400-450oC were not complete, so that given sufficient time to reach equilibrium, a lower hydrothermal stability limit for saponite is possible. Further study of the Fe-bearing saponite system will be required before experimental results can be applied to natural systems.-D.F.B.