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Rates of Albitization in Sandstones from the San Joaquin, Texas Gulf Coast, and Denver Basin

Renee J. Perez
University of Calgary, Calgary, AB

I propose an empirically derived kinetic model that estimates the rate of albitization of plagioclase as a function of time, grain surface area, and temperature from 0 to 200 degrees C. The model uses a kinetic formulation, consistent with the Rate Law, which quantifies the Previous HitdependenceNext Hit of the reaction rate on the initial concentration of the reacting material, and the Arrhenius equation. The kinetic formulation is described by the function:

Rate = Smk[Ano] 2(1-Ω)

where the rate change of the anorthite mole fraction with time is a function of Sm the mineral surface area (cm2), k the rate constant (1/s), [Ano] the initial anorthite mole fraction, and Ω the saturation index. We derive the apparent activation energy (Ea) and Previous HitfrequencyNext Hit factor (A), both present in the rate constant k, by fitting them to the extent of albitization measured in 11 samples from the San Joaquin basin. Subsequently, we test the model against two independent albitization trends, one from the Texas Gulf Coast basin and one from the Denver basin of Colorado. Our results indicate that albitization in all three basins can be fit by an Ea of 68±4 kJ/mole and A of 3.5 ± 0.5 x 104 mole/(cm2 Ma). The rate Previous HitdependenceTop on temperature is consistent with experimental values for albite crystal growth and with empirically derived precipitation rates of other diagenetic silicates such as illite and quartz. The parameters and fit suggest that albitization can be modeled as a surface controlled reaction, primarily dependent on temperature.