Special Issue "Clays, Clay Minerals and Geology"

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Clays and Engineered Mineral Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Francesco Cavalcante
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis, Italian National Research Council, Rome, Italy
Interests: clays; clay minerals; geodynamic; climate change; provenance; diagenesis; low grade metamorphism; mixed-layers clay minerals and quantitative analysis of clays

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sedimentary rocks cover about 80% of the Earth’s surface, and clays represent well over 40% of sedimentary rocks. The wide diffusion of these sediments and their characteristics (large specific surface, cation exchange capacity, water retention capacity, thixotropy, etc.) make clays extremely important for their large use in the last thousand years. The main environment where clay minerals form and evolve is represented by soils, where parent minerals are transformed into clay due to weathering the interaction with living organisms. Other important environments include hydrothermal systems, where clay minerals form due to the rise of high-temperature fluids. After their formation, clay minerals are transported by streams, wind, and glaciers and settle mainly in deep marine environments. The current distribution of clay minerals in the oceans suggests that the climate plays a fundamental control on the formation of these mineral phases. Subsequently, these minerals undergo important transformations at low temperatures within sedimentary basins, due to the sedimentary and/or tectonic load. From the above statements, it appears that clay minerals are crucial in the various disciplines of the earth sciences, such as geodynamics, basin analysis, sedimentology, climate change, reconstruction of depositional environments, tectonics, etc. Contributions focusing on clay minerals aimed at solving geological problems and understanding the formation and evolution of clay minerals within constrained geological environments are welcome.

Dr. Francesco Cavalcante
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Minerals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • clays
  • clay minerals
  • geodynamic
  • climate change
  • provenance and characteristics of the formation environment of clay minerals
  • diagenesis
  • low grade metamorphism

Published Papers (11 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Editorial
Editorial for Special Issue “Clays, Clay Minerals, and Geology”
Minerals 2021, 11(10), 1057; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11101057 - 28 Sep 2021
Viewed by 255
Abstract
Sedimentary rocks covering most of the Earth’s crust are mainly composed of clays, making clay minerals widespread globally [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clays, Clay Minerals and Geology)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Article
Multibeam Bathymetry and Distribution of Clay Minerals on Surface Sediments of a Small Bay in Terra Nova Bay, Antarctica
Minerals 2021, 11(1), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11010072 - 13 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 803
Abstract
The second Antarctic station of South Korea was constructed at Terra Nova Bay, East Antarctica, but local seafloor morphology and clay mineralogical characteristics are still not fully understood. Its small bay is connected to a modern Campbell Glacier, cliffs, and raised beaches along [...] Read more.
The second Antarctic station of South Korea was constructed at Terra Nova Bay, East Antarctica, but local seafloor morphology and clay mineralogical characteristics are still not fully understood. Its small bay is connected to a modern Campbell Glacier, cliffs, and raised beaches along the coastline. Fourteen sampling sites to collect surface sediments were chosen in the small bay for grain size and clay mineral analyses to study the sediment source and sediment-transport process with multibeam bathymetry and sub-bottom profiles. Under the dominant erosional features (streamlined feature and meltwater channel), icebergs are the major geological agent for transport and deposition of coarse-sized sediments along the edge of glaciers in summer, and thus the study area can reveal the trajectory of transport by icebergs. Glacier meltwater is an important agent to deposit the clay-sized detritus and it results from the dominance of the illite content occurring along the edge of Campbell Glacier Tongue. The high smectite content compared to Antarctic sediments may be a result of the source of the surrounding volcanic rocks around within the Melbourne Volcanic Province. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clays, Clay Minerals and Geology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Provenance and Sedimentary Context of Clay Mineralogy in an Evolving Forearc Basin, Upper Cretaceous-Paleogene and Eocene Mudstones, San Joaquin Valley, California
Minerals 2021, 11(1), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11010071 - 13 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 729
Abstract
Mudstone samples from the Moreno (Upper Cretaceous-Paleocene) and Kreyenhagen (Eocene) formations are analysed using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) to determine their mineralogy. Smectite (Reichweite R0) is the predominant phyllosilicate present, 48% to 71.7% bulk rock mineralogy (excluding carbonate cemented and [...] Read more.
Mudstone samples from the Moreno (Upper Cretaceous-Paleocene) and Kreyenhagen (Eocene) formations are analysed using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) to determine their mineralogy. Smectite (Reichweite R0) is the predominant phyllosilicate present, 48% to 71.7% bulk rock mineralogy (excluding carbonate cemented and highly bio siliceous samples) and 70% to 98% of the <2 μm clay fraction. Opal CT and less so cristobalite concentrations cause the main deviations from smectite dominance. Opal A is common only in the Upper Kreyenhagen. In the <2 μm fraction, the Moreno Fm is significantly more smectite-rich than the Kreyenhagen Fm. Smectite in the Moreno Fm was derived from the alteration of volcaniclastic debris from contemporaneous rhyolitic-dacitic magmatic arc volcanism. No tuff is preserved. Smectite in the Kreyenhagen Fm was derived from intense sub-tropical weathering of granitoid-dioritic terrane during the hypothermal period in the early to mid-Eocene; the derivation from local volcanism is unlikely. All samples had chemical indices of alteration (CIA) indicative of intense weathering of source terrane. Ferriferous enrichment and the occurrence of locally common kaolinite are contributory evidence for the intensity of weathering. Low concentration (max. 7.5%) of clinoptilolite in the Lower Kreyenhagen is possibly indicative of more open marine conditions than in the Upper Kreyenhagen. There is no evidence of volumetrically significant silicate diagenesis. The main diagenetic mineralisation is restricted to low-temperature silica phase transitions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clays, Clay Minerals and Geology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Laboratory Studies of Small Strain Stiffness and Modulus Degradation of Warsaw Mineral Cohesive Soils
Minerals 2020, 10(12), 1127; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10121127 - 15 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 737
Abstract
The shear modulus and normalized shear modulus degradation curve are the fundamental parameters describing soil behavior. Thus, this article is focused on the stiffness characteristic of 15 different Warsaw cohesive soli represented by the parameters mentioned above. In this research, standard resonant column [...] Read more.
The shear modulus and normalized shear modulus degradation curve are the fundamental parameters describing soil behavior. Thus, this article is focused on the stiffness characteristic of 15 different Warsaw cohesive soli represented by the parameters mentioned above. In this research, standard resonant column tests were performed in a wide shear strain range, from a small one, where soil behaves like an elastic medium, to a medium one, where soil has an unrecoverable deformation. Collected data allows the authors to create empirical models describing stiffness characteristics with high reliability. The maximum shear modulus calculated by the proposed equation for Warsaw cohesive soil had a relative error of about 6.8%. The formula for normalized shear modulus estimated G/GMAX with 2.2% relative error. Combined empirical models for GMAX, and G/GMAX allow the evaluation of Warsaw cohesive soil’s shear modulus value in a wide shear deformation range, with a very low value of the relative error of 6.7%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clays, Clay Minerals and Geology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Downhole Lithological Profile Reconstruction Based on Chemical Composition of Core Samples and Drill Cuttings Measured with Portable X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer
Minerals 2020, 10(12), 1101; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10121101 - 08 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 567
Abstract
The reconstruction of a lithological profile based on geophysical logs of chemical composition provided by geochemical gamma-gamma well logging probes has been increasingly used for geophysical interpretation. A chemical profile, analogous to the measurements mentioned above, can be determined based on measurements made [...] Read more.
The reconstruction of a lithological profile based on geophysical logs of chemical composition provided by geochemical gamma-gamma well logging probes has been increasingly used for geophysical interpretation. A chemical profile, analogous to the measurements mentioned above, can be determined based on measurements made with a portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (pXRF). This paper presents a methodology for determining the mineral composition of drilled, clastic, as well as clay-rich rocks on the basis of both inexpensive and timesaving pXRF measurements as well as models combining the results of chemical composition analysis with results of mineral composition analysis (XRD). The results of chemical composition analysis obtained with a portable XRF spectrometer were calibrated based on a detailed analysis produced with ICP-OES and ICP-MS methods. A significant advantage of the proposed method is the possibility to apply it with regard to drill cuttings as well as archival cores. However, considerable discrepancies in the results obtained were identified while comparing the results of chemical composition analysed directly on the core and milled material. The analysed material comprised Carboniferous rocks derived from three boreholes located in Poland: Kobylin-1 as well as Biesiekierz-1 and -2. It was possible to directly compare the lithological profile obtained based on measurements taken on drill cuttings with the results of the lithological interpretation of a geochemical probe log. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clays, Clay Minerals and Geology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Effects of Hydraulic Gradient and Clay Type on Permeability of Clay Mineral Materials
Minerals 2020, 10(12), 1064; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10121064 - 27 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 670
Abstract
Considering the relevance of clay mineral-bearing geomaterials in landslide/mass movement hazard assessment, various engineering projects for resource development, and stability evaluation of underground space utilization, it is important to understand the permeability of these clay mineral-based geomaterials. However, only a few quantitative data [...] Read more.
Considering the relevance of clay mineral-bearing geomaterials in landslide/mass movement hazard assessment, various engineering projects for resource development, and stability evaluation of underground space utilization, it is important to understand the permeability of these clay mineral-based geomaterials. However, only a few quantitative data have been reported to date regarding the effects of the clay mineral type and hydraulic gradient on the permeability of clay mineral materials. This study was conducted to investigate the permeability of clay mineral materials based on the clay mineral type, under different hydraulic gradient conditions, through a constant-pressure permeability test. Comparative tests have revealed that the difference in the types of clay mineral influences the swelling pressure and hydraulic conductivity. In addition, it has been found that the difference in water pressure (hydraulic gradient) affects the hydraulic conductivity of clay mineral materials. The hydraulic conductivity has been found to be closely associated with the specific surface area of the clay mineral material. Furthermore, the hydraulic conductivity value measured is almost consistent with the value calculated theoretically using the Kozeny–Carman equation. Moreover, the hydraulic conductivity is also found to be closely associated with the hydrogen energy, calculated from the consistency index of clay. This result suggests that the hydraulic conductivity of clay mineral materials can be estimated based on the specific surface area and void ratio, or consistency index of clay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clays, Clay Minerals and Geology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Mineralogical Record for Stepwise Hydroclimatic Changes in Lake Qinghai Sediments Since the Last Glacial Period
Minerals 2020, 10(11), 963; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10110963 - 28 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 863
Abstract
Lake Qinghai is sensitive to climatic changes because of its pivotal location between mid-latitude Westerlies and the low-latitude East Asian monsoon. An 18.6 m long drilling core (1Fs) from Lake Qinghai provides new information on the hydroclimatic dynamics since the last glacial period. [...] Read more.
Lake Qinghai is sensitive to climatic changes because of its pivotal location between mid-latitude Westerlies and the low-latitude East Asian monsoon. An 18.6 m long drilling core (1Fs) from Lake Qinghai provides new information on the hydroclimatic dynamics since the last glacial period. Here, we present the results of bulk mineral assemblages of this core. X-ray diffraction (XRD) results showed that the bulk minerals of the core sediments consist of major clastic minerals (e.g., quartz, feldspar, muscovite), carbonates (e.g., calcite, aragonite, dolomite), and minor clay minerals (e.g., chlorite). Quartz as an exogenous detrital mineral in lake sediments, its abundance is related to lake level changes resulting from regional climate changes via fluvial/aeolian transportation. Aragonite was precipitated from water solutions or chemical alteration of pre-existing minerals or biogenic mediation, closely related to lake hydroclimate change. Mineral assemblages revealed remarkable stepwise hydroclimatic changes. High quartz content and low calcite without aragonite suggested a cold-wet climate condition under predominant westerlies during the last glacial period from 35 to 25.3 ka. Afterward, quartz decreased and aragonite occasionally appeared, indicating an unstable hydroclimatic condition during the last deglaciation. Since the Early Holocene (11.9–8.2 ka), predominant minerals shifted from terrigenous quartz to authigenic carbonates, suggesting an increasing lake level, possibly due to intensified Asian summer monsoon with increased effective moisture. Aragonite became the primary carbonate mineral, implying a warming and humid hydroclimate environment with a relatively higher lake-level. During the Middle Holocene (8.2–4.2 ka), aragonite showed a decreasing trend indicating a higher lake level with weak evaporation. During the Late Holocene since 4.2 ka, there were lower quartz and aragonite, suggesting a deep lake with a weak summer monsoon. Our quartz and carbonate minerals record provided essential clues to reconstruct hydroclimate change in Lake Qinghai since the last glacial period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clays, Clay Minerals and Geology)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Geochemical Significance of Clay Minerals and Elements in Paleogene Sandstones in the Center of the Northern Margin of the Qaidam Basin, China
Minerals 2020, 10(6), 505; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10060505 - 31 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 779
Abstract
The average thickness of Paleogene sandstones reaches about 3000–4000 m at the northern margin of the Qaidam Basin. However, the provenance and sedimentary environment of these sandstones are uncertain; thus, more comprehensive research is needed. Integrated research is conducted on the provenance and [...] Read more.
The average thickness of Paleogene sandstones reaches about 3000–4000 m at the northern margin of the Qaidam Basin. However, the provenance and sedimentary environment of these sandstones are uncertain; thus, more comprehensive research is needed. Integrated research is conducted on the provenance and weathering process based on petrographic characteristics, clay minerals, and geochemical compositions of sandstones in the center of the northern Qaidam Basin. The results of lithofacies analysis show that the Paleogene sandstones were mainly derived from an active continental magmatic arc, subduction accretion, or a fold-thrust belt. The average illite content in the Paleogene clay minerals is more than 50%, followed by chlorite and smectite, which reflect climatic and environmental characteristics that were arid to semi-arid, whereas the characteristics of carbon–oxygen isotopes reveal a mainly freshwater sedimentary environment. The corrected chemical index of alteration (CIAcorr) is between 56.3 and 75.7, with an average value of 66.5. These results indicate that the provenance of the Paleogene sandstones in the center of the northern Qaidam Basin mainly formed under cold and dry climatic conditions and experienced limited chemical weathering with a small amount that underwent intermediate chemical weathering under warm and humid conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clays, Clay Minerals and Geology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Distinguishing Features and Identification Criteria for K-Dioctahedral 1M Micas (Illite-Aluminoceladonite and Illite-Glauconite-Celadonite Series) from Middle-Infrared Spectroscopy Data
Minerals 2020, 10(2), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10020153 - 11 Feb 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1099
Abstract
A representative collection of K-dioctahedral 1M micas ranging in composition from (Mg, Fe)-poor illites to aluminoceladonites through Mg-rich illites (Fe-poor varieties) and from Fe-bearing, Mg-rich illites to celadonites through Fe-illites, Al-glauconites and glauconites (Fe-bearing varieties) was studied by Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy [...] Read more.
A representative collection of K-dioctahedral 1M micas ranging in composition from (Mg, Fe)-poor illites to aluminoceladonites through Mg-rich illites (Fe-poor varieties) and from Fe-bearing, Mg-rich illites to celadonites through Fe-illites, Al-glauconites and glauconites (Fe-bearing varieties) was studied by Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy in the middle-infrared region. Analysis and comparison of the relationships between the band positions and cation compositions of Fe-poor and Fe-bearing K-dioctahedral micas provided a generalized set of FTIR identification criteria that include the band positions and profiles in the regions of Si–O bending, Si–O stretching, and OH-stretching vibrations. FTIR data allow unambiguous identification of illites, aluminoceladonites, and celadonites, as well as distinction between Fe-illites and illites proper, as well as between Al-glauconites and glauconites. Specifically, a sharp maximum from the AlOHMg stretching vibration at ~3600 cm−1, the presence of a MgOHMg stretching vibration at 3583–3585 cm−1, as well as characteristic band positions in the Si–O bending (435–439, 468–472 and 509–520 cm−1) and stretching regions (985–1012 and 1090–1112 cm−1) are clearly indicative of aluminoceladonite. The distinction between Fe-illites and Al-glauconites, which have similar FTIR features, requires data on cation composition and unit-cell parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clays, Clay Minerals and Geology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Review
Clay Minerals at the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum: Interpretations, Limits, and Perspectives
Minerals 2020, 10(12), 1073; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10121073 - 30 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 637
Abstract
The Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) was an “extreme” episode of environmental stress that affected the Earth in the past, and it has numerous affinities concerning the rapid increase in the greenhouse effect. It has left several biological, compositional, and sedimentary facies footprints in [...] Read more.
The Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) was an “extreme” episode of environmental stress that affected the Earth in the past, and it has numerous affinities concerning the rapid increase in the greenhouse effect. It has left several biological, compositional, and sedimentary facies footprints in sedimentary records. Clay minerals are frequently used to decipher environmental effects because they represent their source areas, essentially in terms of climatic conditions and of transport mechanisms (a more or less fast travel, from the bedrocks to the final site of recovery). Clay mineral variations at the PETM have been studied by several authors in terms of climatic and provenance indicators, but also as tracers of more complicated interplay among different factors requiring integrated interpretation (facies sorting, marine circulation, wind transport, early diagenesis, etc.). Clay minerals were also believed to play a role in the recovery of pre-episode climatic conditions after the PETM exordium, by becoming a sink of atmospheric CO2 that is considered a necessary step to switch off the greenhouse hyperthermal effect. This review aims to consider the use of clay minerals made by different authors to study the effects of the PETM and their possible role as effective (simple) proxy tools for environmental reconstructions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clays, Clay Minerals and Geology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Clay Minerals in Hydrothermal Systems
Minerals 2020, 10(10), 919; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10100919 - 16 Oct 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1439
Abstract
The study of active and fossil hydrothermal systems shows clay minerals to be a fundamental tool for the identification and characterization of hydrothermal alteration facies. The occurrence and composition of hydrothermal alteration facies could provide useful information on the physicochemical conditions of the [...] Read more.
The study of active and fossil hydrothermal systems shows clay minerals to be a fundamental tool for the identification and characterization of hydrothermal alteration facies. The occurrence and composition of hydrothermal alteration facies could provide useful information on the physicochemical conditions of the hydrothermal activity affecting a rock volume. In particular, clay minerals (i.e., smectite group, chlorite, illite, kaoline group, pyrophyllite, biotite) are pivotal for extrapolating important parameters that strongly affect the development of water/rock interaction processes such as the temperature and pH of the hydrothermal environment. This work aims to give a general reference scheme concerning the occurrence of clay minerals in hydrothermal alteration paragenesis, their significance, and the information that can be deduced by their presence and chemical composition, with some examples from active and fossil hydrothermal systems around the world. The main mineralogical geothermometers based on chlorite and illite composition are presented, together with the use of hydrogen and oxygen isotope investigation of clay minerals in hydrothermal systems. These techniques provide a useful tool for the reconstruction of the origin and evolution of fluids involved in hydrothermal alteration. Finally, a list of oxygen and hydrogen fractionation factor equations between the main clay minerals and water is also provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clays, Clay Minerals and Geology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop