The clay/water interface and its role in the environment

  • P. F. Low
Conference paper

DOI: 10.1007/BFb0115708

Part of the Progress in Colloid & Polymer Science book series (PROGCOLLOID, volume 95)
Cite this paper as:
Low P.F. (1994) The clay/water interface and its role in the environment. In: Schwuger M.J., Haegel F.H. (eds) Surfactants and Colloids in the Environment. Progress in Colloid & Polymer Science, vol 95. Steinkopff


Data are presented to show that the surfaces of a common clay mineral, montmorillonite, modify the properties of the nearby water to a depth of at least 3.5 nm and that the value of every water property depends exponentially on t, the thickness of the films of adsorbed water, but is independent of the character of the surfaces. The viscosity and yield point are among the properties of the water that are modified. A modification of either of these properties has a commensurate effect on the flow of water between adjacent surfaces. Data are also presented to show that the surface-induced modification of the water is responsible for the swelling of the clay mineral and affects its ability to adsorb solutes. The swelling of clay reduces the permeability of the soil and the adsorption of solutes by the clay reduces their mobility. Thus, clay-water interaction has a significant impact on the convective and diffusive transport of pollutants through the soil.

Key words

montmorillonite clay water clay/water interface clay/water interaction pollution 


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Copyright information

© Dr. Dietrich Steinkopff Verlag GmbH & Co. KG 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. F. Low
    • 1
  1. 1.Agronomy DepartmentPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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