Sequential Active Alteration of Rhyolitic Volcanic Rock to Endellite and a Precursor Phase of It at a Spring in Michoacan, Mexico

W. D. Keller*, Robert F. Hanson, W. H. Huang* and A. Cervantes
* Dept. of Geology, University of Missouri-Columbia.
Refractories A. P. Green, S. A., Mexico, D. F.

Abstract: Sequential alteration of volcanic rock of rhyolitic composition to a precursor of endellite, and thence to tubular endellite, may be observed at a hot spring about 27 km north of Ciudad Hidalgo, Michoacan, Mexico. Ojo Caliente de Laguna Larga (or Verde) yields H2S-SO2-containing water, temperature about 45°C pH 3·5–3·7, from multiple orifices in vesicular and slabby rock with which the water reacts.

First-stage alteration of the rock consisted of permeation and dissolution, accompanied by deposition of clay substance in vesicle walls. The clay substance, although “amorphous” to X-rays, yields a weak DTA of endellite, and kaolinite. It is interpreted as a precursor of endellite. Further reaction included continued filling of vesicles and spreading argillation which coalesced between vesicles and other rock pores. Ultimately, the rock was completely “digested” to well-defined endellites.

Strong desilication and depotassication of the rock is indicated by the dissolved substances in the spring water: Si 59·1 (equivalent to 127 SiO2) ug/ml: Al, 1·63; Fe, 0·65: Mg, 0·21: Ca, 178: Na, 0·73: K, 13·7. Despite high K+, predominantly high H+ and Al3+ induce formation of endellite. The clay-water system accords well with stability diagrams.

Allophane-endellite in Indiana and endellite at Stanford, Kentucky, are formed from cold, strongly acid, meteoric-water solutions high in Si and Al relative to kaolinite dissolved in water. Factors of genesis common to both hot- and cold-water endellite are cited, suggesting that they are premissively critical, but not necessarily restrictive, to the origin of endellite.

Clays and Clay Minerals; June 1971 v. 19; no. 2; p. 121-127; DOI: 10.1346/CCMN.1971.0190209
© 1971, The Clay Minerals Society
Clay Minerals Society (www.clays.org)