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Chemistry of Mg Smectites in Lacustrine Sediments from the Vicalvaro Sepiolite Deposit, Madrid Neogene Basin (Spain)

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The chemical and structural properties of Mg smectites in the Vicálvaro sepiolite deposit have been studied in detail. The characterization was performed on different size-fractions of selected smectitic samples (5 -2 µm; 2 -1 µm; 1 -0.5 µm; <0.5 µm and <0.1 µm). The chemical compositions of individual particles (5 -1 µm) and of bulk undifferentiated fine fractions (1 -<0.1 µm) were determined by energy dispersive spectroscopy-scanning electron microscopy and interpreted with the aid of X-ray diffraction (XRD) and infrared spectroscopy (IR) methods. The XRD and IR data demonstrate that all of the Mg smectite materials studied are mainly composed of a complex mixture of stevensite, saponite and micatype minerals. Although the presence or absence of saponite cannot be confirmed absolutely, stevensite is a significant component of these Mg smectites. This is proven by the calculated layer charge reduction after the Hofmann-Klemen effect. The results are in close agreement with the suggested mechanism of topotactic overgrowth of stevensite on pre-existing phyllosilicate templates. This characterizes clay diagenesis in saline-lake systems.
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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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