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Mineralogy and provenance of clays in miarolitic cavities of the Pikes Peak Batholith, Colorado

Canadian Mineralogist

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Abstract

Clay samples from 105 cavities within miarolitic granitic pegmatites throughout the Pikes Peak batholith, in Colorado, were analyzed by powder X-ray diffraction (XRD). Smectite (beidellite), illite, and kaolinite were found within the cavities. Calculation of crystallite-thickness distribution (CTD), mean thickness of the crystallites, and variance in crystallite thickness, as deduced from XRD patterns, allowed a determination of provenance and mode of formation for illite and smectite. Authigenic miarolitic-cavity illite and smectite show lognormal CTDs and larger mean thicknesses of crystallites than do their soil-derived counterparts; non-lognormal illite in a cavity results from mixing of cavity and soil illite. Analysis of mean thickness and thickness variance shows that crystal growth of illite is initiated by a nucleation event of short duration, followed by surface-controlled kinetics. Crystallization of the miarolitic cavity clays is presumed to occur by neoformation from hydrothermal fluids. The assessment of provenance allows a determination of regional and local distributions of clay minerals in miarolitic cavities within the Pikes Peak batholith.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Mineralogy and provenance of clays in miarolitic cavities of the Pikes Peak Batholith, Colorado
Series title:
Canadian Mineralogist
Volume
43
Issue:
3
Year Published:
2005
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Canadian Mineralogist
First page:
1093
Last page:
1105
Number of Pages:
13