Granite weathering and clay mineral formation impart distinct and interpretable stable Si isotope (δ30Si) signatures to their solid and aqueous products. Within a saprolite, clay minerals have δ30Si values ∼2.0‰ more negative than their parent mineral and the δ30Si signature of the bulk solid is determined by the ratio of primary to secondary minerals. Mineral-specific weathering reactions predominate at different depths, driving changes in differing δ30Sipore water values. At the bedrock-saprolite interface, dissolution of plagioclase and hornblende creates δ30Sipore water signatures more positive than granite by up to 1.2‰; these reactions are the main contributor of Si to stream water and determine its δ30Si value. Throughout the saprolite, biotite weathering releases Si to pore waters but kaolinite overgrowth formation modulates its contribution to pore-water Si. The influence of biotite on δ30Sipore water is greatest near the bedrock where biotite-derived Si mixes with bulk pore water prior to kaolinite formation. Higher in the saprolite, biotite grains have become more isolated by kaolinite overgrowth, which consumes biotite-derived Si that would otherwise influence δ30Sipore water. Because of this isolation, which shifts the dominant source of pore-water Si from biotite to quartz, δ30Sipore water values are more negative than granite by up to 1.3‰ near the top of the saprolite.

You do not currently have access to this article.