Dissimilar Fabrics by Scan Electron Microscopy of Sedimentary Versus Hydrothermal Kaolins in Mexico

W. D. Keller and Robert F. Hanson
University of Missouri, Columbia, U.S.A.
Refractarios A. P. Green, S. A., Mexico, D. F., Mexico

Abstract: Dissimilar fabrics, observed by scan electron micrography (SEM) on freshly broken surfaces of kaolins from weathered, water-laid material vs hydrothermally altered material in Mexico are illustrated, contrasted, and tentatively related to their respective environments of genesis. Coarse, open-textured, well-preserved books and vermiforms of kaolinite characterize the kaolin from water-laid material at Jacal, Mexico. Hydrothermal kaolins tend to have more tightly compacted crystals of either kaolinite flakes (individuals or in packets) or elongates (halloysite morphology) or mixtures of both in the same deposit. Variations in porosity of parent rock whether sedimentary or igneous, and dissimilar permeation by meteoric water and by vapor and liquids of hydrothermal fluids are deemed to be significant in the processes producing distinctive fabrics. The question is raised as to the fundamental distinction between kaolinite and halloysite and their nomenclature.

Clays and Clay Minerals; July 1975 v. 23; no. 3; p. 201-204; DOI: 10.1346/CCMN.1975.0230306
© 1975, The Clay Minerals Society
Clay Minerals Society (www.clays.org)