Clay mineralogy and its effect on physical properties in the Gulf of Mexico northwestern continental slope
MetadataShow full item record
The clay mineral composition of sediments deposited in the last six oxygen isotope stages in the Gulf of Mexico continental slope was characterized. Smectite and illite were found to be the two major clay minerals of the clay fraction while kaolinite, chlorite and quartz were present in the clay fraction but in less proportions. Variations in clay mineral abundances, especially in the relative abundances of smectite and illite, were identified in relation to climate changes. Smectite was the most abundant mineral in sediments of the current (stage 1) and last interglacial maxima (stage 5) while illite dominates the clay min-eralogy of sediments from the last glacial maximum (stage 2). Relationships between clay mineralogy and physical properties were investigated as well. Significant positive correla-tions were found between Atterberg limits with the smectite content of the bulk sediment and with clay content. However, the relationship with smectite yielded a significantly higher correlation coefficient. Smectite and clay content also affect the natural water con-tent of sediments and its changes with depth.
Berti, Debora (2003). Clay mineralogy and its effect on physical properties in the Gulf of Mexico northwestern continental slope. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from