Estimate of Clay-Mineral Content: Additions of Proportions of Soil Clay to Constant Standard

Robert V. Ruhe and Carolyn G. Olson
Water Resources Research Center and Department of Geology Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405

Abstract: The method of known additions for estimating clay-mineral content was reversed in that increasing proportions of soil clay were added to a standard composed of equal weights of kaolinite, illite, and montmorillonite. After glycolation, peak-area ratios were calculated from 7.2 (kaolinite), 10 (illite), 14 and 17 Å (vermiculite and montmorillonite) diffraction peaks of standard, mixes, and soil clay. Ratios were plotted against % soil clay from the standard (0%) through the mixes (14 to 77%). Curves of fit were calculated and projected to 100% soil clay giving theoretical values which agree with measured values. As weight proportions are known in the standard, the projections permit estimates of clay-mineral weight proportions in the soil clay.

Key Words: Constant standard • Quantitative analysis • Soil clay • X-ray powder diffraction

Clays and Clay Minerals; October 1979 v. 27; no. 5; p. 322-326; DOI: 10.1346/CCMN.1979.0270502
© 1979, The Clay Minerals Society
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