The stability of clays

  • Bruce Velde
Part of the The Mineralogical Society Series book series (MIBS, volume 3)


Some 30 years ago it was observed that the type of clay-mineral assemblage found in an argillaceous rock changed as a function of burial depth in sedimentary basins. This observation leads eventually to a direct comparison with metamorphic reactions which are a function of temperature, pressure, composition, and time variables. In recent years, numerous studies have shown that the clay mineralogy of a sedimentary rock can be a function of its bulk composition (sedimentary facies) or its position in the stratigraphic series of the basin in which it was buried (age and thermal history). A good synopsis of this information can be found in Weaver (1989). This reinforces the idea that the changes in clay minerals are governed by normal parameters of mineral stability (temperature, T and composition, x). Up until now, there is little evidence that pressure (lithostatic) influences the stability of clay minerals in natural environments.


Clay Mineral Bulk Composition Clay Mineralogy Paris Basin Burial History 
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Copyright information

© Geoffrey D. Price, Nancy L. Ross and the contributors 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce Velde
    • 1
  1. 1.Départment de GéologieURA 1316 du CNRS, École Normale SuperieureParisFrance

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