Interstratified Layer Silicates in Some Soils of Northern Wisconsin*

L. D. Whittig
1954 Clays and clay minerals  
Examination of the silt and clay fractions of two northern Wisconsin soils, Omega loamy sand of the Brown Podzolic group and Ahmeek loam of the Brown Forest group, revealed considerable quantities of interstratified layer silicates. The two soils contained montmorin, vermiculite, chlorite, and illite both as discrete and interstratifled components. Regularly alternating montmorin-illite structures, which registered a 28 A first order diffraction peak, and vermiculite-illite structures, which
more » ... tructures, which yielded a 24 A first order peak, were observed in the fine silt fractions of the Ahmeek loam A~ and B~ horizons, respectively. Weak diffraction peaks in general and lack of binary mixture average spacings was suggestive of ternary or quarternary interstratification of illite, chlorite, vermiculite, and montmorin in the medium and fine clay fractions of the Ahmeek loam horizons. Randomly interstratified vermiculite-chlorite and vermiculite-montmorin, as revealed by comparative basal diffraction peaks before and after heating potassittm saturated samples, were evidenced in the fine silt and clay fractions of the Omega profile. Mixed layer components in the Omega and Ahmeek soils originated from illite and chlorite in the C horizons with a progressive increase in proportions of first vermiculite and finally montmorin with proximity to the soil surface. The observed weathering transitions within the mixed layer structures illustrates the effects of accelerated leaching which has taken place in these coarse textured soil profiles, even though these soils are relatively young (late Pleistocene). This investigation is concerned with the occurrence of interstratification of the layer silicates illite, chlorite, vermiculite, and montmorin as a function of depth in some relatively young soils (late Pleistocene) of a temperate region. The chemical weathering of the 2 : 1 and 2 : 2 layer silicates was found to follow, in general, the weathering sequence as proposed by Jackson (1948) and Jackson and Sherman (1953) . The transformation proceeded from the micas, representing stages 4 (trioctahedral mica) and 7 (dioctahedral mica) through chlorite and vermiculite (stage 8) to montmorin (stage 9). REVIEW OF LITERATURE The weathering sequence is based on different relative stability of minerals (Jackson and Sherman, 1953 ). Jackson, et al. (1948 proposed, on the basis of X-ray diffraction and surface sorption studies,
doi:10.1346/ccmn.1954.0030126 fatcat:gtaudb2zubaqlcwnecjvekkk7a