Cores from the Smoky Hill Chalk Member of the Cretaceous Niobrara Formation have several zones containing authigenic kaolinite as spherical, moldic, polycrystalline aggregates that occur within single or multichambered foraminiferal tests and are commonly associated with framboidal pyrite. Such kaolinite is inferred to result from volcanic ash deposited during chalk sedimentation. Shortly after burial, a colloidal aluminous gel or solution formed from the unstable ash and moved into organic-rich foraminiferal tests, where sulfate-reducing bacteria created a favorable microenvironment for the simultaneous crystallization of kaolinite and pyrite.

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