Recognition of Interstratified Clays

J. G. Mills and M. A. Zwarich
Department of Soil Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Abstract: Difficulties in the interpretation of X-ray diffractograms of soil clays are discussed with reference to clay fractions obtained from glacial till and lacustrine soil parent materials. Diffractograms of the coarse clay fractions are readily interpreted by conventional means but it is difficult to determine if the dominant mineral species of the fine clay fraction is an interstratified mineral or a mixture of discrete montmorillonite and mica. A number of methods of interpretation of diffractograms of interstratified minerals are used with varying results. In the case of clays of small particle size, diffraction peaks crucial to the recognition of interstratification are not resolved due to the peak broadening. This phenomenon causes the diffractogram of a mixture of discrete minerals to resemble that of an interstratified mineral.

Clays and Clay Minerals; June 1972 v. 20; no. 3; p. 169-174; DOI: 10.1346/CCMN.1972.0200309
© 1972, The Clay Minerals Society
Clay Minerals Society (www.clays.org)