Lutites are commonly metasomatized during diagenesis, but the analysis presented here accounts for most postdepositional change. Potassium metasomatism is particularly common, and typically involves the conversion of kaolin (residual weathering product) to illite by reaction with K+-bearing pore waters. Sandstones also undergo K metasomatism, which involves the replacement of plagioclase by potassium feldspar. These changes can be identified petrographically and are quantitatively accounted for by techniques discussed herein. Bulk chemical analyses and ternary diagrams are used to determine the amount of K addition, premetasomatized sediment composition, and composition of provenance areas. The premetasomatized mineralogy of paleosols can be compared with the mineralogy of recent soil profiles and thus, climate and topographic conditions determined for past weathering events. Some weathering indices lead to erroneous conclusions because, by excluding K2O from consideration, correction cannot be made for metasomatic effects.

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