Biotite Alteration in Deeply Weathered Granite. I. Morphological, Mineralogical, and Chemical Properties

R. J. Gilkes and Anchalee Suddhiprakarn1
Department of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, University of Western Australia Nedlands, Western Australia, Australia 6009
1Permanent address: Department of Soil Science, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand.

Abstract: Biotite in deeply weathered granitic rocks in southwestern Australia has altered to exfoliated grains composed of biotite, mixed-layer clay minerals, kaolinite, vermiculite, gibbsite, goethite, and hematite. Discrete vermiculite and vermiculite-dominant mixed-layer clay minerals are not major weathering products. Oxidation of octahedrai iron in biotite is associated with ejection of octahedrai cations, loss of interlayer K, and a contraction of the b-dimension of the biotite sheet. Si, Mg, Ca, Mn, K, and Na are lost from biotite during weathering, and Ti, Al, Ni, and Cr are retained. Fe and water have been added to the grains during weathering. Much Fe occurs as aggregates of microcystailine, aluminum-rich goethite particles on flake surfaces and within etchpits, with smaller amounts occurring as hexagonal arrangements of lath-shaped crystals of goethite on flake surfaces.

Key Words: Biotite • Goethite • Mixed-layer mineral • SEM morphology • Vermiculite • Weathering

Clays and Clay Minerals; October 1979 v. 27; no. 5; p. 349-360; DOI: 10.1346/CCMN.1979.0270505
© 1979, The Clay Minerals Society
Clay Minerals Society (www.clays.org)