Textural Variation and Composition of Bentonite Derived from Basaltic Ash

Jiri Konta
Department of Petrology, Charles University, Albertov 6, 12843 Prague 2, Czechoslovakia

Abstract: The Rokle bentonite deposit is part of an accumulation of argillized volcanoclastic rocks in the Tertiary stratovolcanic complex of the Doupovské Mountains east of Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad), about 100 km westnorthwest of Prague, Czechoslovakia. The arenite basalt ash was originally composed of hyaloclasts and subordinate biotite. The following types of montmorillonite aggregates were produced during the alteration of the ash in a stagnant, lacustrine environment: (1) extremely fine-grained microcrystalline aggregates that have honeycomb textures and that replace the original hyaloclasts, and (2) coarse crystalline aggregates that have more open honeycomb textures and that fill pores and cracks in altered hyaloclasts and in pumice vesicles. Both types of aggregates have the same chemical composition according to energy dispersive X-ray analysis.

Montmorillonite, separated as the <1-µm size fraction from olive gray bentonite, has the following crystallochemical formula: (K0.09Na0.02Ca0.29Mg0.10) (Al2.43Fe3+1.05Fe2+0.005Mn2+0.005Mg0.50) (Si7.62Al0.38) O20(OH)4. Biotite was apparently stable during the alteration of the hyaloclasts. Anatase and possible accessory heulandite-clinoptilolite were also formed in small amounts, but were not observed by scanning electron microscopy. Goethite is the youngest oxidation product in some parts of the bentonite. Minute fragments of sodium-rich plagioclase, potassium feldspar, quartz, and muscovite are ubiquitous accessories of the original hyaloclasts. Together with kaolinite, they formed from the underlying fresh or kaolinized orthogneiss.

Key Words: Basaltic ash • Bentonite • Chemical composition • Hyaloclast • Petrography • Scanning electron microscopy • Texture

Clays and Clay Minerals; June 1986 v. 34; no. 3; p. 257-265; DOI: 10.1346/CCMN.1986.0340305
© 1986, The Clay Minerals Society
Clay Minerals Society (www.clays.org)