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Soil hydroxy-interlayered minerals: a re-interpretation of their crystallochemical properties

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Hydroxy-interlayered minerals (HIMs) are typical of moderately acidic soils. Barnhisel and Bertsch (1989) defined the hydroxy-interlayered clay minerals as a solid-solution series between smectite, vermiculite and pedogenic or aluminous chlorite end-members. Their experimental data for the relationship between the decrease in cation exchange capacity (CEC) and the amount of Al fixed in the interlayers of smectites and vermiculites is reinterpreted using calculated structural, chemical and X-ray diffraction (XRD) evidence. The adsorbed Al ions are in a 6-fold coordination state: [Al(OH)x(H2O)y](3–x)+ with x + y = 6. The polymerization process occurs before saturation of the exchange sites by Al ions. Some of the adsorbed Al ions form polynuclear cations keeping a constant positive charge. X-ray diffraction patterns of oriented preparations in the ethylene glycol-solvated state suggest that HIMs consist of randomly interstratified expandable and chlorite-like layers (17 and 14.2 Å). Chlorite-like layers result from the selective adsorption of Al complex ions in specific interlayer zones that behave similarly to Al-chlorite (donbassite-like) with incomplete (60%) 'gibbsite-like' sheets (chlorite60). Using this framework, HIM XRD patterns can be interpreted by comparison with calculated chlorite60-dismectite mixed-layer mineral patternss using the NEWMOD software.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2007

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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

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