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Origin and behaviour of clay minerals in the Bogd fault gouge, Mongolia

Abstract : We analyzed twelve fault gouge samples from the Bogd fault in south-western Mongolia to understand the origin and behavior of clay minerals. The investigation relies on x-ray powder diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and high energy synchrotron x-ray diffraction methods to investigate microstructure and preferred orientation. Smectite (montmorillonite), illite-smectite mixed layers, illite-mica and kaolinite are the major clay components, in addition to quartz and feldspars, which are present in all samples. The observations suggest that the protoliths and the fault rocks were highly altered by fluids. The fluid-rock interactions allow clay minerals to form, as well as alter feldspars to precipitate kaolinite and montmorillonite. Thus, newly formed clay minerals are heterogeneously distributed in the fault zone. The decrease of montmorillonite component of some of the highly deformed samples also suggests that dehydration processes during deformation were leading to illite precipitation. Based on synchrotron x-ray diffraction data, the degree of preferred orientation of constituent clay minerals is weak, with maxima for (001) ranging from 1.3 to 2.6 multiples of a random distribution (m.r.d). Co-existing quartz and feldspars have random orientation distributions. Microstructure and texture observations of the gouges from the foliated microscopic zone, alternating with micrometric isotropic clay-rich area, also indicate that the Bogd fault experienced brittle and ductile deformation episodes. The clay minerals may contribute to a slip weakening behavior of the fault.
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Contributor : Isabelle Dubigeon <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, February 7, 2012 - 10:43:13 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 14, 2021 - 11:45:28 AM



Martine Buatier, Alain Chauvet, W. Kanitpanyacharoen, Hans-Rudolf Wenk, J.F. Ritz, et al.. Origin and behaviour of clay minerals in the Bogd fault gouge, Mongolia. Journal of Structural Geology, Elsevier, 2012, 34, pp.77-90. ⟨10.1016/j.jsg.2011.10.006⟩. ⟨insu-00667194⟩



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