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Fluid flow through clayey soils: stable isotope and mineralogical evidence

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The evaluation of clays as barriers to fluid movement can be improved by geochemical methods that provide ways to examine the reactivity and weathering of minerals in soils and sediments. X-ray radiography, X-ray powder diffraction, and stable isotope geochemistry provide new data from field locations in the Mississippi River Delta of Louisiana indicating that the clays are not effective barriers to the vertical migration of fluids in the shallow subsurface. Systematic changes in the mineral assemblages, the soil structure and the D and 18O values of fine clay fractions can best be explained by an alteration sequence produced as the originally smectite-rich clay mineral assemblage was kaolinized by percolating groundwater.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Geology & Geophysics, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA 2: Department of Agronomy, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA 3: Department of Geology, Department of Agronomy, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA

Publication date: 1998-03-01

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