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Cementation of kerogen-rich marls by alkaline fluids released during weathering of thermally metamorphosed marly sediments. Part I: Isotopic (C,O) study of the Khushaym Matruk natural analogue (central Jordan)

Abstract : The Khushaym Matruk site in central Jordan may represent a natural analogue depicting the interaction of alkaline solutions with a clayey sedimentary formation or with clay-rich confining barriers at the interface with concrete structures in waste disposal sites. In this locality, past spontaneous combustion of organic matter in a clayey biomicritic formation produced a ca. 60 m-thick layer of cement-marble containing some of the high-temperature phases usually found in industrial cements (e.g., spurrite, brucite, and Ca-aluminate). A vertical cross-section of the underlying sediments was used in order to study the interaction between cement-marbles and neighbouring clayey limestones under weathering conditions. A thermodynamic approach of the alteration parageneses (calcite­jennite­afwillite­brucite and CSH phases) in the cement-marbles constrains the interacting solutions to have had pH-values between 10.5 and 12. Over 3 m, the sediments located beneath the metamorphic unit were compacted and underwent carbonation. They display large C and O isotopic variations with respect to "pristine" sediments from the bottom of the section. Low d13C-values down to -31.4/PDB show the contribution of CO2 derived from the oxidization of organic matter and from the atmosphere to the intense carbonation process affecting that particular sedimentary level. The size of the C isotopic anomalies, their geometrical extent and their coincidence with the variations of other markers like the Zn content, the structure of organic matter, the mineralogical composition, all argue that the carbonation process was induced by the percolation of high pH solutions which derived from the alteration of cement-marbles. The temperature of the carbonation process remains conjectural and some post-formation O isotopic reequilibration likely affected the newly-formed carbonate. Carbonation induced a considerable porosity reduction, both in fractures and matrixes. The Khushaym Matruk site may have some bearing to the early life of a repository site, when water saturation of the geological formations hosting the concrete structures is incomplete, enabling simultaneous diffusion of alkaline waters and gaseous CO2 in the near field.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-00184087
Contributor : Isabelle Dubigeon <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, October 30, 2007 - 3:06:44 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 14, 2021 - 11:47:21 AM

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Serge Fourcade, Laurent Trotignon, Philippe Boulvais, I. Techer, Marcel Elie, et al.. Cementation of kerogen-rich marls by alkaline fluids released during weathering of thermally metamorphosed marly sediments. Part I: Isotopic (C,O) study of the Khushaym Matruk natural analogue (central Jordan). Applied Geochemistry, Elsevier, 2007, 22 (7), pp.1293-1310. ⟨10.1016/j.apgeochem.2007.02.012⟩. ⟨insu-00184087⟩

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