Skip to main content

Mineralogy and genesis of smectites in an alkaline-saline environment of Pantanal wetland, Brazil

Buy Article:

$20.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Smectite formation in alkaline-saline environments has been attributed to direct precipitation from solution and/or transformation from precursor minerals, but these mechanisms are not universally agreed upon in the literature. The objective of this work was to investigate the mineralogy of smectites in the soils surrounding a representative alkaline-saline lake of Nhecolândia, a sub-region of the Pantanal wetland, Brazil, and then to identify the mechanisms of their formation.

Soils were sampled along a toposequence and analyzed by X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray analysis, and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Water was collected along a transect involving the studied toposequence and equilibrium diagrams were calculated using the databases PHREEQC and AQUA.

The fine-clay fraction is dominated by smectite, mica, and kaolinite. Smectites are concentrated at two places in the toposequence: an upper zone, which includes the soil horizons rarely reached by the lake-level variation; and a lower zone, which includes the surface horizon within the area of seasonal lake-level variation. Within the upper zone, the smectite is dioctahedral, rich in Al and Fe, and is classified as ferribeidellite. This phase is interstratified with mica and vermiculite and has an Fe content similar to that of the mica identified. These characteristics suggest that the ferribeidellite originates from transformation of micas and that vermiculite is an intermediate phase in this transformation. Within the lower zone, smectites are dominantly trioctahedral, Mg-rich, and are saponitic and stevensitic minerals. In addition, samples enriched in these minerals have much smaller rare-earth element (REE) contents than other soil samples. The water chemistry shows a geochemical control of Mg and saturation with respect to Mg-smectites in the more saline waters. The REE contents, water chemistry, and the presence of Mg-smectite where maximum evaporation is expected, suggest that saponitic and stevensitic minerals originate by chemical precipitation from the water column of the alkaline-saline lake.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-10-01

More about this publication?
  • 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]

    Publications of The Clay Minerals Society
    Source Clays

  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Membership Information
  • Annual Meeting of The Clay Minerals Society
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more