Illitization of smectite during progressive burial diagenesis occurs differently in sandstone and mudstone, which are interbedded in the sedimentary sequence of the Niigata basin. Reaction progress of illitization of smectite via mixed-layer illitesmectite (I-S) in the mudstone is more complete than in the sandstone. In sandstone, smectite converts to (Reichweit, R ≥ 3) I-S and illite via random (R = 0) I-S to ordered (R = 1) I-S, and authigenic chlorite and quartz form as products of the illitization of smectite.

The original composition of detrital smectite and the occurrence of Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+, and Fe2+ in pore fluids partly control both illitization of smectite and the resulting authigenic mineral products in the diagenetic process. In mudstone, detrital smectite is K- and Si-rich in composition, and the illitization of smectite indicates that the original composition is mostly inherited. Excess silica owing to illitization is released to produce authigenic quartz. In sandstone, smectite forms primarily by precipitation. The evolving compositions produced by early illitization form smectite, then random (R = 0) I-S, and then ordered (R = 1) I-S. These transitions are related to compositions of pore fluid. Changes in K/(K + Ca + Na) vs. K + Ca + Na imply that the increase of interlayer cations occurs by absorption and smectite transforms to random (R = 0) I-S, followed by the exchange of interlayer cations to ordered (R = 1) I-S with increasing diagenetic grade. Late illitization from (R = 1) I-S to R ≥ 3 suggests decomposition of smectite and early I-S with an increase in the number of illite layers. Dissolution experiments of host rocks with pure water and 0.01 M HCl solution reflect the differences in chemistry of the original pore fluid and authigenic carbonate in the process of diagenesis of clastic rocks. These results explain how chemical composition produces large variations in transformation temperature of smectite to illite in the diagenetic process.

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