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The formation of Fe-bearing secondary phase minerals from the basalt–sediment interface, South Pacific Gyre: IODP Expedition 329

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Alteration of basalt is a ubiquitous process on the vast oceanic crust surface and results in the formation of secondary-phase minerals that include clay minerals and Fe-(oxyhydr)oxides. Thus, this process is a significant consequence of water/rock interactions that could reveal the (bio)geochemical conditions of formation. Core samples at the basalt/sediment interface from a depth of 74.79 m below sea floor (mbsf) were recovered during the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) expedition 329 (2010.10.10–2010.12.13) in the South Pacific Gyre (SPG). Two distinct regions of yellow- and red-colored sediment were observed. The mineralogy, elemental composition, Fe oxidation state, and mineral structure of the altered basalt samples were analyzed using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) with selected area electron diffraction (SAED) patterns, energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS), and micro X-ray fluorescence (μ-XRF). In the yellow sediment, K-nontronite and feroxyhyte (δ'-FeO(OH)) were the dominant mineral phases, while Mg-rich smectite (saponite), chlorite, and hematite were found predominantly in the reddish sediment. The appearance of K-nontronite and feroxyhyte mineral assemblages in altered sediment indicated that oxidative conditions prevailed during basalt alteration. Variation in the Fe-oxidation states in the K-nontronite structure, however, may indicate that local reducing conditions persisted throughout the biogeochemical reactions.
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Keywords: BASALT ALTERATION; EELS; K-NONTRONITE; SAPONITE; SOUTH PACIFIC GYRE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2018

This article was made available online on March 23, 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "FAST-TRACK: The formation of Fe-bearing secondary phase minerals from the basalt–sediment interface, South Pacific Gyre: IODP Expedition 329".

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  • The JOURNAL publishes articles of interest to the international community of clay scientists, including but not limited to areas in mineralogy, crystallography, geology, geochemistry, sedimentology, soil science, agronomy, physical chemistry, colloid chemistry, ceramics, petroleum engineering, foundry engineering, and soil mechanics. Clays and Clay Minerals exists to disseminate to its worldwide readership the most recent developments in all of these aspects of clay materials. Manuscripts are welcome from all countries.

    Clays and Clay Minerals is the official publication of The Clay Minerals Society.

    The Editor-in-Chief is Professor Joseph W. Stucki [email protected]

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