Role of Microbes in the Smectite-to-Illite Reaction

Jinwook Kim, Hailiang Dong, Jennifer Seabaugh, Steven W. Newell, Dennis D. Eberl

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187 Citations (Scopus)


Temperature, pressure, and time have been thought to control the smectiteto-illite (S-I) reaction, an important diagenetic process used for petroleum exploration. We demonstrated that microorganisms can promote the S-I reaction by dissolving smectite through reduction of structural FE(III) at room temperature and 1 atmosphere within 14 days. This reaction typically requires conditions of 300° to 350°C, 100 megapascals, and 4 to 5 months in the absence of microbial activity. These results challenge the conventional concept of the S-I reaction and of reaction kinetic models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)830-832
Number of pages3
Issue number5659
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Feb 6


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

Cite this

Kim, J., Dong, H., Seabaugh, J., Newell, S. W., & Eberl, D. D. (2004). Role of Microbes in the Smectite-to-Illite Reaction. Science, 303(5659), 830-832.