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Halloysite-to-kaolinite transformation by dissolution and recrystallization during weathering of crystalline rocks

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The present study, which was carried out on a deep weathering profile of quartz diorite in the San'in district, Japan, along with two lateritic samples from India and Sri Lanka, provides convincing evidence supporting the dissolution and recrystallization mechanism for the halloysite-to-kaolinite transformation during weathering of crystalline rocks. In all the samples studied, tubular halloysite formed prior to kaolinite via the dissolution of feldspars and precipitation from solution. The crystal size distribution of tubular halloysite formed early was characterized by a lognormal curve having a positive asymmetry. When the activity of water decreased in the weathering profile, halloysite as well as goethite began to dehydrate, which acted as a trigger for dissolving halloysite. The heterogeneous nucleation of kaolinite took place on the edges and in the shrinkage pores of dehydrated halloysite tubes. The topotactic relationship of b*halloysite//b*kaolinite was kept between the substrate halloysite and the product kaolinite in the incipient growing stages of kaolinite. As a consequence, early formed halloysite transforms to kaolinite in a cannibalistic manner over a long period of time, owing to the intermittent supply of solution undersaturated with respect to halloysite in natural open systems.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-09-01

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