Overview of authigenic magnesian clays

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Marco E. Ciriotti
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Overview of authigenic magnesian clays

Messaggio da Marco E. Ciriotti » ven 09 nov, 2018 14:43

▪ Pozo, M. & Calvo, J.P. (2018): An Overview of Authigenic Magnesian Clays. Minerals, 8, 520; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8110520

Clay authigenesis mostly concerns: (a) the formation of clays by direct precipitation from solution, called “neoformation” and (b) development of clays by transformation of precursor minerals. Precipitation from solution implies that a new mineral structure crystallizes, so that a prior mineral structure is not inherited. Transformation of precursor detrital minerals, a process also termed “neoformation by addition”, can be conducted whether throughout precipitation on pre-existing natural surfaces or transformation and reaction on pre-existing surfaces. Both processes have been recognized as effective mechanisms in the formation of Mg-clays, which mostly include 2:1 clay minerals, such as talc-kerolite and Mg-smectites, as well as fibrous clays (sepiolite, palygorskite). Authigenic Mg-clay minerals occur in both modern and ancient marine and non-marine depositional environments, although formation of these clays in hydrothermal continental and seafloor settings must be also outlined. Most favourable conditions for the formation of Mg-clays on earth surface are found in evaporitic depositional environments, especially where parent rocks are enriched in ferromagnesian minerals. In these settings, Mg-clays are important constituent of weathering profiles and soils and can form thick deposits of significant economic interest. Based on this review of authigenic clay deposits, we propose three geochemical pathways, mainly related to continental environments, for the origin of authigenic Mg-clays: formation of Al-bearing Mg-clays (pathway 1), formation of Al-free Mg clays (pathway 2) and formation of sepiolite from other Mg-clay minerals (pathway 3).
Marco E. Ciriotti

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