Hydrothermal experiments were conducted to measure the effects of K availability, Na/K ratio and ionic strength in chloride solutions on the rate and extent of the reaction of smectite to interstratified illite/smectite. The < 2 ??m fraction of a bentonite was treated hydrothermally at temperatures of 200, 250, 300, 350, 400 and 450??C for run times of up to 30 days in the presence of 0.33, 0.66 and 1.00 equivalents of K per O10(OH)2. The effect of K-content on reaction progress is dramatic at low (0.33 eq.) K concentrations, but diminishes above a concentration of 0.66 equivalents. The effect of K-content is also more important at lower temperatures than at higher temperatures. Addition of K above that required to satisfy the cation exchange capacity of the smectite reduced the amount of chlorite byproduct and produced authigenic K-feldspar at the highest K-concentration. Similar experiments were run using Na/K equivalent ratios of 0 to 25 and total solution molalities of 0 to 3.75 molal. Because these experiments were small fixed-volume experiments, it was necessary to vary two of the three key variables (K-content, Na/K ratio, ionic strength simultaneously. The data suggest, however, that K-content has a much stronger effect than either Na/K ratio or ionic strength on illitization reaction progress. ?? 1992.
Additional publication details
Dioctahedral smectite reactions at elevated temperatures: Effects of K-availability, Na/K ratio and ionic strength