Encyclopedia of Marine Geosciences

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| Editors: Jan Harff, Martin Meschede, Sven Petersen, Jörn Thiede

Clay Minerals

  • Rüdiger Stein
Living reference work entry

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6644-0_48-2


Clay minerals are hydrous aluminum phyllosilicates. The main representatives are kaolinite, illite, chlorite, and smectite.

Structure and Composition

The structure of clay minerals is characterized by alternation of sheets, which yield the layer structure. The composition and configuration of these sheets are different for different clay minerals. There are, however, two basic types of sheets, composing any given clay mineral (Grim, 1962; Bridley and Brown, 1984 ; Chamley, 1989): (i) tetrahedral sheets with one silicon atom surrounded by four oxygen atoms in a tetrahedral configuration and (ii) octahedral sheets with an aluminum, magnesium, or iron atom surrounded by hydroxyl groups and oxygen in a sixfold coordinated configuration (Fig. 1ad). Alternation of one tetrahedral and one octahedral sheet yields the 1:1 structure, whereas alternation of two tetrahedral sheets with one octahedral sheet results to the 2:1 structure. In most clay minerals, substitution in tetrahedral...


Clay Mineral Arctic Ocean Aluminum Silicate Octahedral Sheet Core PS2185 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geosciences DepartmentAlfred-Wegener-Institute For Polar And Marine Research (AWI)BremerhavenGermany