Provenance and sedimentary context of clay mineralogy in an evolving forearc basin, Upper Cretaceous-Paleogene and Eocene mudstones, San Joaquin Valley, California

Andrew Hurst*, Michael J. Wilson, Antonio Grippa, Lyudmyla Wilson, Giuseppe Palladino, Claudia Belviso, Francesco Cavalcante

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Mudstone samples from the Moreno (Upper Cretaceous-Paleocene) and Kreyenhagen (Eocene) formations are analysed using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) to determine their mineralogy. Smectite (Reichweite R0) is the predominant phyllosilicate present, 48% to 71.7% bulk rock mineralogy (excluding carbonate cemented and highly bio siliceous samples) and 70% to 98% of the <2 | m clay fraction. Opal CT and less so cristobalite concentrations cause the main deviations from smectite dominance. Opal A is common only in the Upper Kreyenhagen. In the <2 |j.m fraction, the Moreno Fm is significantly more smectite-rich than the Kreyenhagen Fm. Smectite in the Moreno Fm was derived from the alteration of volcaniclastic debris from contemporaneous rhyoliticdacitic magmatic arc volcanism. No tuff is preserved. Smectite in the Kreyenhagen Fm was derived from intense sub-tropical weathering of granitoid-dioritic terrane during the hypothermal period in the early to mid-Eocene; the derivation from local volcanism is unlikely. All samples had chemical indices of alteration (CIA) indicative of intense weathering of source terrane. Ferriferous enrichment and the occurrence of locally common kaolinite are contributory evidence for the intensity of weathering. Low concentration (max. 7.5%) of clinoptilolite in the Lower Kreyenhagen is possibly indicative of more open marine conditions than in the Upper Kreyenhagen. There is no evidence of volumetrically significant silicate diagenesis. The main diagenetic mineralisation is restricted to low-temperature silica phase transitions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number71
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalMinerals
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Clay minerals
  • Forearc basin
  • Mudstone
  • Provenance
  • Smectite

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