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Illite is the most abundant and common clay mineral. Understanding its structure and transformation is an absolute prerequisite to understanding the problems of environmental change. Using illite as the frame, the authors describe problems in soil chemistry, clay stability and clay kinetics in sedimentary rocks.
The Mineralogy of Illite: Illite Definitions; Definition based on Chemical Composition; Thermodynamic Stability of Illite; The Growth of Illite Crystals; Working Definition of Illite.- The Geology of Illite: Illite in Soils and Weathered Rocks; Illite in Diagnetic Series; Illite in Fossil and Active Geothermal Fields and Hydrothermal Alteration Zones; The Illite Age Measurement.- Dynamics of the Smectite to Illite Transformation: Experimental Studies; Kinetics of Experimental Transformations; The Bulk Composition Effect.- Kinetics of the Smectite to Illite Conversion Process in Natural Environments; Success and Failure of the Multiparameter Models; Stability Controls; Application of Kinetics to K-Ar Dating.- Applications: Exploration and Exploitation of Natural Resources; Environmental Problems.