BORON IN CLAYS AND ESTIMATION OF PALEOSALINITIES

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SUMMARY

Experiments on the uptake of boron by some clays from artificial sea-water solutions at room temperatures show that the uptake is proportional to the concentration in solution, and takes place in relatively short time. The uptake process can be described by the Freundlich adsorption equation, with the constants in the equation, k and b, varying from one clay to another. Additional factor which apparently promotes the boron adsorption by clays is the occurrence of a sodium-borate complex in saline waters. The boron concentrations in a sequence of marine Cretaceous sediments derived from a fairly localized source area show variation much greater than can be accounted for by a model which assumes (1) nearly constant boron concentration in illitic-montmorillonitic clays prior to their deposition in the sea, and (2) changes in the boron concentration in solution as may be expected under slight variations in sea water of near “normal” salinity. Differences in the properties of clay-mineral polymorphs, in predepositional histories of the clays, and possible adsorption from interstitial waters, render inconsequential the estimates of the boron concentrations in the waters at the time of deposition.

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