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Microtextures of authigenic Or-rich feldspar in the Upper Jurassic Humber Group, UK North Sea



ABSTRACT Detrital alkali feldspars currently at burial depths of 3·2–3·5 km in the Upper Jurassic Humber Group of the Fulmar oilfield, UK North Sea, are overgrown and have been partially replaced by authigenic Or-rich feldspar. Intracrystal microtextures suggest several different provenances for the detrital grains. The overgrowths are uniformly non-cathodoluminescent and have occasional celsian-rich zones. Transmission electron microscopy shows that they are composed of a microporous mosaic of subµm- to µm-sized sub-grains associated with barite, illite and pyrite. The subgrains are somewhat rounded but have an approximate {110} Adularia habit and display a faint modulated microtexture on the nanometre scale. They have triclinic symmetry, but the lattice angles depart only slightly from monoclinic symmetry. These features are characteristic of K-feldspar precipitated relatively rapidly and at low temperature. Authigenic Or-rich feldspar has also partially replaced microcline and perthitic albite within the detrital grains, often at a suboptical scale. Although, like diagenetic albitization, replacement by K-feldspar is probably a very common diagenetic reaction, it has rarely been reported owing to difficulties in imaging the diagnostic textures with the scanning electron microscopy techniques used by most workers. The permeability of the subgrain microtexture may significantly hinder the use of feldspar overgrowths for K/Ar and 40Ar/39Ar dating of diagenesis, and the existence of suboptical, replacive authigenic K-feldspar within detrital grains may significantly modify the apparent Ar ages of detrital grains. Similar subgrain microtextures in optically featureless quartz overgrowths are also illustrated.