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Maghemite Formation in Burnt Plant Litter at East Trinity, North Queensland, Australia

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Evidence for the formation of maghemite from goethite due to a bushfire on acid sulfate soil at East Trinity, Australia, is presented. Oxidation of pyrite-bearing acid sulfate soils led to precipitation of goethite-impregnated leaf litter. During a major bushfire, goethite with a crystal size calculated from broadening of the 110 reflection of ~9 nm was converted to microcrystalline maghemite (size 12 nm, 220 reflection) and hematite (17 nm, 104 reflection) in a matrix of partly combusted plant litter. Replication of this natural formation of maghemite from goethite was achieved in the laboratory by burning goethite-impregnated leaf litter.
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Keywords: -ACID SULFATE SOILS; BUSHFIRE; CARBON; CHARCOAL; GOETHITE; IRON; LEAF; LITTER; MAGHEMITE; ORGANIC

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-08-01

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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.

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