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Genesis of kaolinite from Albian sedimentary deposits of the Iberian Range (NE Spain): analysis by XRD, SEM and TEM

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The kaolinite from Albian sedimentary deposits (Escucha and Utrillas Formations) of the Iberian Range (Spain) have been investigated. This research has shown the presence of different types of kaolinites (detrital and diagenetic) along with micaceous phases in these deposits. Detrital kaolinites show anhedral morphology, low crystallinity and a degree of ordering as well as the presence of interstratified smectite layers. They constitute the matrix of the claystones and siltstones and were probably formed as a consequence of intense weathering processes in the source area during the warm period of the early Cretaceous. Diagenetic kaolinites have been recognized in the sandstones and siltstones, with kaolinite growing between 'expanded' mica flakes and vermiform and euhedral kaolinite forming the matrix. They have euhedral morphologies, high crystallinity and a high degree of ordering. They grew in situ as a response to incipient diagenesis by K-feldspar dissolution and/or organic acid-rich fluids derived from the maturation of organic matter in shales.
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Keywords: CRETACEOUS; CRYSTAL MORPHOLOGY; CRYSTALLINITY; KAOLINITE; SPAIN; WARM PERIOD; WEATHERING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-09-01

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