The significance of recent studies on the argillaceous rocks in the interpretation of sedimentary facies (including the red beds)

Attapulgite and sepiolite are clay minerals, neoformed in the alkaline chemical facies. The ions, Si, Al, Mg, which are necessary for authigenesis, are leached from the continent under humid tropical conditions. Lateritic profiles originate only on the continents. If erosion begins again, the siderolithic facies, which contains a great proportion of inherited kaolinite, succeeds the alkaline chemical facies. These two facies are mutually connected in space and time.

The “red-sandstone” facies consists of a reworking of altered rubidied sands, which originate in warm climates with alternating humid and dry seasons. It is the maintenance of erosion by living tectonics which determines the intensity of the alteration. The “bituminous-coal” facies corresponds to conditions which are analagous to the previous periods, but more humid, with more intense subsidence and a higher general base level of erosion. Bituminous-coal facies and red-sandstone facies are characterized by the predominance of illite and are connected in time.

In the geochemical cycle, detrital argillaceous series succeed the carbonated and saliferous facies. Under certain conditions, these chemical facies indue a positive transformation, i.e., aggradation under the influence of the confined environment.

Thus, the detrital, transformed or neoformed clay minerals can be used as palaeogeographical or palaeoclimatical indicators