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Natural systems evidence for the effects of temperature and the activity of aqueous silica upon montmorillonite stability in clay barriers for the disposal of radioactive wastes

Savage, D.*; Wilson, J.*; Benbow, S.*; Sasamoto, Hiroshi; Oda, Chie; Walker, C.*; Kawama, Daisuke*; Tachi, Yukio

Natural systems evidence for the effects of temperature and the activity of aqueous silica upon montmorillonite stability was evaluated. Thermodynamic modeling using three different TDBs shows that stability fields for montmorillonite exist from 0 to 140$$^{circ}$$C, but at low values of silica activity, a stability field for illite replaces that for montmorillonite. Pore fluid chemical and mineralogical data for sediments from ODP sites from offshore Japan show a trend from montmorillonite + amorphous silica stability at temperatures up to 60$$^{circ}$$C to that for illite + quartz at higher temperatures. However, even over very long timescales ($$gg$$ 1 Ma), smectite does not transform to illite under thermodynamically-favourable conditions at temperatures less than 80$$^{circ}$$C.

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Category:Chemistry, Physical

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