Mica weathering in acidic soils by analytical electron microscopy

H. Aoudjit, F. Elsass, D. Righi, M. Robert
1996 Clay minerals  
The mineralogy, crystallochemistry and microfabric of clay minerals from acidic soils were studied using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and analytical electron microscopy (AEM). Soil profiles, developed on saprolites, sampled in the main crystalline massifs of France represent different pedological environments. The study focused on the microsystem of mica weathering, which appeared to be the main source of secondary clay minerals, and involves microdivision, transformation and
more » ... mation and dissolution. Microdivision begins with the splitting of large particles along layer planes and their shearing normal to the layers. This induces the breakdown of particles of one hundred layers into particles having only a few layers. The transformation of micas follows two steps: they first transform into 1–1.4 nm mixed-layer minerals and then into hydroxy-Al interlayered vermiculite. The formation of hydroxy-Al interlayered vermiculite derived from micas is dominant in acidic soils; particles are generally small, consisting of only three to seven layers, and always have a dioctahedral composition, whatever the type of the original mica (trioctahedral or dioctahedral). Dissolution affects the surface layers or large domains of the core of the particles and leads to the formation of multi-elementary gels rich in Fe and Al.
doi:10.1180/claymin.1996.031.3.03 fatcat:d3j5ygqdabdtnmueyufkeogx3m