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By Georges Millot (auth.)

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Extra info for Geology of Clays: Weathering · Sedimentology · Geochemistry

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MIXED-LAYER CLAY MINERALS Mixed-layer clay minerals. - Mixed-layer clay minerals are clay minerals in which different kinds of layers alternate with each other. The existence of such minerals was discovered by GRONER (1934) and HENDRICKS and JEFFERSON (1938) in connection with the study of vermiculite, as well as by NAGELSCHMIDT (1944) working on bravaisite (illite-montmorillonite mixed-layer). Since then many studies on these mixed structures were carried out mainly in three directions: a) The theoretical study of the problem and especially the calculation of the effects of the interstratification on X-ray diffraction.

And we must not break up the continuity of a natural evolution simply because we have only a small number of words available. It is certain that the species which we know well by means of mineralogical study are more stable stages than those of products undergoing evolution. Being more stable, they are more probable and thus more common. We must in reality guard against two dangers: that of drying up a natural evolution by means of the jerky mechanism of going from one species to the next, and that of diluting the concept of a mineral species into a continuous succession in which no distinct steps are discernible.

There were hardly more than a hundred investigators; today there are several thousands. Measurements on sedimentary deposits and rocks were counted by hundreds; today our laboratory, like many others, has made more than 12,000 analyses. Confrontation of previous hypotheses by such a considerable mass of documents was inevitable. - Many years have been occupied by the famous discussion of the problem of detrital clays - neoformed clays, also called inheritance and neoformation. The great number of HISTORY OF RESEARCH ON CLAY GEOLOGY 33 measurements effected in the most diverse sedimentary deposits and environments of sedimentation showed that the great hypotheses of the early days were very schematic.

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