Abstract: Vermiculites and smectites in soils and sediments are frequently partially interlayered or “chloritized”. Dioctahedral expansible layer silicates are those most frequently interlayered, and hydroxy-Al appears to be the principal component of the non-exchangeable interlayer material.
The most favorable soil conditions for interlayer formation appear to be: moderate pH (4·6–5·8), frequent wetting and drying cycles, and low organic matter content.
In marine sediments, hydroxy-Mg interlayering may be significant. Soil-derived clays containing partially filled hydroxy-Al “brucite” sheets may be filled out with hydroxy-Mg. Under reducing conditions, hydroxy-Fe interlayers may be important.
Depending on the OH/Al ratio and Al content of hydroxy-Al interlayers, expansible layer silicate may either promote or retard the formation of gibbsite. Interlayered expansible layer silicates also may be precursors to kaolinite.