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Formation conditions of vesicle/fissure-filling smectites in Penghu basalts: a stable-isotope assessment

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Abstract:

Stable isotope and chemical compositions of vesicle- and fissure-filling smectites (i.e. montmorillonite and saponite) in Penghu subaerial basalts were analysed to establish their possible formation conditions. The results show that montmorillonites have higher Fe contents (as FeOtotal), as well as higher O-isotope and H-isotope compositions than saponites. These differences may largely reflect dissimilar formation conditions and/or fluid compositions. It is suggested that saponites probably precipitated from fluids dominated by meteoric groundwaters at 40-50°C, whereas montmorillonites were probably formed at 20-40°C from mixtures of groundwaters and seawater. Considering all the possible uncertainties, the above estimated temperature conditions are suggested as reasonable lower limits. It is established that the associated calcite is not in O-isotope equilibrium with the montmorillonite. The calcite might have been formed in environments with ambient fluid dominated by meteoric groundwaters at temperatures lower than those for montmorillonite.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1180/000985599546262

Publication date: 1999-09-01

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