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Biogenic Saponite from an Active Submarine Hot Spring, Iceland

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A study of the mineralogy, chemical composition and structure of poorly-crystalline saponite precipitated from a submarine hot spring in Eyjafjordur, northern Iceland is reported. Special emphasis was placed on the microstructures of the minerals and a possible connection with biological activity during their precipitation. The microstructures of the minerals were found to be very similar to specific clay minerals precipitated from geothermal vents in oceanic rift zones. The composition of the minerals was, however, found to be similar to magnesium silicate scales formed in geothermal installations in Iceland where geothermal waters were mixed with cold fresh waters. High contents of organic substances were found in the clay mineral samples as compared to geothermal precipitates from other localities. Microstructural features of the layer silicates in one of the samples suggest that a gelatinous substance was a precursor of the saponite clay. The organic matter content appears to be greater when the precipitates are more crystalline.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-04-01

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  • The JOURNAL publishes articles of interest to the international community of clay scientists, including but not limited to areas in mineralogy, crystallography, geology, geochemistry, sedimentology, soil science, agronomy, physical chemistry, colloid chemistry, ceramics, petroleum engineering, foundry engineering, and soil mechanics. Clays and Clay Minerals exists to disseminate to its worldwide readership the most recent developments in all of these aspects of clay materials. Manuscripts are welcome from all countries.

    Clays and Clay Minerals is the official publication of The Clay Minerals Society.

    The Editor-in-Chief is Professor Joseph W. Stucki [email protected]

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