Naturally occurring, microbially induced smectite-to-illite reaction

Jinwook Kim, Hailiang Dong, Kiho Yang, Hanbeom Park, W. Crawford Elliott, Arthur Spivack, Tae hee Koo, Gilyoung Kim, Yuki Morono, Susann Henkel, Fumio Inagaki, Qiang Zeng, Tatsuhiko Hoshino, Verena B. Heuer

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3 Citations (Scopus)


The occurrence of microbially induced smectite-to-illite (S-I) reaction has challenged both the notions of solely inorganic chemical control for this reaction and the conventional concept of a semiquantitative illite geothermometer for the reconstruction of the thermal and tectonic histories of sedimentary basins. Here, we present evidence for a naturally occurring microbially induced S-I transition, via biotic reduction of phyllosilicate structural Fe(III), in mudstones buried at the Nankai Trough, offshore Japan (International Ocean Discovery Program Site C0023). Biotic S-I reaction is a consequence of a bacterial survival and growth strategy at diagenetic temperatures up to 80 °C within the Nankai Trough mudstones. These results have considerable implications for petroleum exploration, modification of fault behavior, and the understanding of microbial communities in the deep biosphere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-539
Number of pages5
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jun 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology

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    Kim, J., Dong, H., Yang, K., Park, H., Elliott, W. C., Spivack, A., Koo, T. H., Kim, G., Morono, Y., Henkel, S., Inagaki, F., Zeng, Q., Hoshino, T., & Heuer, V. B. (2019). Naturally occurring, microbially induced smectite-to-illite reaction. Geology, 47(6), 535-539.