Illite/smectite transformation in detrital glaucony during burial diagenesis of sandstone: A study from Siri Canyon – Danish North Sea



Detrital glaucony in the Palaeogene glauconitic sandstones in Siri Canyon, Danish North Sea, has been analysed from 15 exploration wells by X-ray diffraction, electron microprobe and scanning electron microscopy. These sandstones consist of mixed-layer illite/smectite and have a large variability in chemical composition and structure. In the most shallow wells (ca 1700 m), the glaucony is rich in Fe and consists of mixed-layer illite/smectite with random-interstratification (= 0). In the depth interval from 1700 to 2000 m, the composition changes as Si is incorporated. The structure changes to ordered R = 1. Further increase in burial leads to the loss of Fe. Ordered R = 3 mixed-layer illite/smectite is recognized from burial depths of 2200 m. The proportion of illite in illite/smectite mixed layers increases only slightly with depth and temperature. Although the structural changes generally are associated with chemical changes, they can also take place isochemically when the detrital glaucony is tightly embedded in earlier cement, which prevented chemical exchange. The glaucony transformation in the Siri Canyon sandstones partly reflects a supply of Si and partly significant loss of Fe. Thus, the glaucony transformation relates to the general diagenesis of the host sandstone. These sandstones are cemented by microquartz at an early stage, followed by precipitation of Fe-rich grain-coating berthierine or chlorite.