Clays and Clay Minerals

, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 375–380 | Cite as

Imogolite and Allophane Formed in Saprolite of Basalt on Maui, Hawaii

  • K. Wada
  • T. Henmi
  • N. Yoshinaga
  • S. H. Patterson


Inorganic gel and allophane collected from basaltic saprolite on Maui, Hawaii, and studied by Patterson in 1964 were reexamined. The main constituent of the gel is imogolite, and gibbsite and allophane are the minor constituents. Electron and X-ray diffraction patterns, DTA curve, and an infrared spectrum of the gel are characteristic of imogolite. The allophane is virtually noncrystalline to X-rays but contains a small amount of imogolite in relatively short threads. High-resolution electron micrographs indicate differences in structural organization between allophane and imogolite and suggest crystallization of imogolite from allophane.

The occurrence of imogolite as a weathering product has been reported in many localities from pyroclastic materials but not from massive rocks. Probably the exceptionally high rainfall, excellent subsurface permeability of the weathered material, and the low pH and high organic content of the leaching solution provide favorable conditions for formation of imogolite from basalt on Maui.


Un gel minéral et une allophane recueillis dans une saprolite basaltique de Maui, Hawaii, et étudiés par Patterson en 1964, ont fait l’objet d’un nouvel examen. Le constituant principal du gel est l’imogolite, et la gibbsite et l’allophane en sont des constituants mineurs. Les diagrammes de diffraction électronique et de rayons X, la courbe d’ATD et le spectre infrarouge du gel sont caractéristiques de l’imogolite. L’allophane est virtuellement amorphe aux rayons X, mais elle contient une petite quantité d’imogolite en aiguilles relativement courtes. Les micrographies électroniques à haute résolution indiquent des différences dans l’organisation structurale de l’allophane et de l’imogolite et suggèrent que l’imogolite a cristallisé à partir de l’allophane.


Anorganisches Gel und Allophan, erhalten aus basaltischem Saprolit auf Maui, Hawaii, und studiert von Patterson im Jahre 1964, wurde neu untersucht. Der Hauptbestandteil des Gels ist Imogolit, und die untergeordneten Bestandteile sind Gibbsit und Allophan. Die Elektron- und Röntgenbeugungsmuster, DTA Kurve und ein Ultrarotspektrum des Gels sind kennzeichnend für Imogolit. Das Allophan ist praktisch unkristallin gegenüber Röntgenstrahlen, erthält jedoch eine kleine Menge von Imogolit in verhältnismässig kurzen Fasern. Elektronmikrographien mit hoher Auflösung zeigen Unterschiede in der Gefügeanordnung zwischen Allophan und Imogolit und deuten auf mögliche Kristallisation von Imogolit aus Allophan.


Повторно рассматривались неорганический гель и аллофан, найденных на базальтовых сапропелитах в Мави, Гавайи, которые исследовались в 1964 г. Паттерсоном. Главный компонент геля — имоголит, а гиббсит и аллофан являются второстепенными компонентами. Электронограмма; дифракционная картина; кривая дифференциального термического анализа и инфракрасный спектр геля характерны для имоголита. По рентгенограмме видно, что аллофан почти что некристаллической структуры, но содержит малое количество волокнистного имоголита. Электронные микроснимки показывают разницу структурной организации аллофана и имоголита и наводят на мысль, что имоголит образовался от кристаллизации аллофана.


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Copyright information

© The Clay Minerals Society 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Wada
    • 1
  • T. Henmi
    • 1
  • N. Yoshinaga
    • 2
  • S. H. Patterson
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of AgricultureKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of AgricultureEhime UniversityMatsuyamaJapan
  3. 3.U.S. Geological SurveyBeltsvilleUSA

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