Abstract: Clay mineral compositions in specimens of Recent marine sediments in the neighbourhood of Japan and sedimentary rocks from Japan were studied. Identification of the clay minerals was made chiefly by X-ray, differential thermal and infrared analyses. Their relative amounts were determined by comparing the intensities of their basal X-ray reflections.
Recent marine sediments: Specimens from the bottom of the Northwestern Pacific Ocean contain montmorillonite, illite, chlorite and kaolinite. The amount of montmorillonite varies locally, but that of kaolinite is generally small. Clay mineral compositions of the Eastern Sea specimens are different from those of the Northwestern Pacific Ocean and the crystallinity of clay minerals seems to be better in the Eastern Sea. It is most likely that the clay minerals in the Eastern Sea sediments were supplied from the continent. Specimens of the bottom sediments at the entrance of Tokyo Bay contain montmorillionite, illite, chlorite and a lesser amount of kaolinite. The amount of montmorillonite varies markedly with locality and tends to be low where the movement of sea water is relatively intense. This may be due to a finer particle size of montmorillionite in comparison with the other clay minerals.
Sedimentary rocks: The relationship between sedimentary formations and clay mineral compositions shows that the compositions are characteristic of the depositional environments. For example, kaolinite is abundant in the formations deposited in fresh water but its content is low in the formations deposited under marine environment. The Paleozoic formations from the Tohoku region contain chlorite and illite without exception; however, the Mesozoic formations contain them in various proportions according to localities.