Clay

Clay

[kley]
Clay, Cassius Marcellus, 1810-1903, American politician and diplomat, b. Madison co., Ky. Although he came from a slaveholding family, Clay early came to abhor the institution of slavery. In 1845 he established at Lexington, Ky., the True American, an abolitionist paper. His press was moved by his enemies to Cincinnati, and he continued its publication there and at Louisville. He served as a captain in the Mexican War and was captured and for a time imprisoned. In 1851 he was an unsuccessful candidate for governor of Kentucky on an antislavery ticket; he captured enough votes, however, to cause the defeat of the Whig candidate and thus hastened the collapse of the Whigs in Kentucky. He was minister to Russia (1861-62, 1863-69) and served briefly in the Civil War as a major general of volunteers.

See his autobiography (1866); his writings, ed. by H. Greeley (1848, repr. 1969); biographies by D. L. Smiley (1962) and W. H. Townsend (1967).

Clay, Cassius Marcellus, Jr.: see Ali, Muhammad.
Clay, Clement Claiborne, 1816-82, U.S. Senator (1853-61), b. Huntsville, Ala. A legislator and then a judge in his native state, he was twice elected to the U.S. Senate and became an ardent defender of the states' rights doctrine. He left the Senate upon Alabama's secession and entered the Confederate senate, refusing the appointment as Secretary of War in the Confederacy. In 1864 he was sent by Jefferson Davis with two others on a diplomatic mission to Canada, which was intended to open peace negotiations with the federal government. Lincoln finally decided not to see him, and after a year in Canada, Clay returned to the South. After the assassination of Lincoln, he was accused of having taken part in a plot in Canada against Lincoln's life and also of having planned raids across the border, and a reward was offered for him. He gave himself up, was held at Fortress Monroe for almost a year without trial, and then was freed. His wife, Virginia Clay-Clopton, wrote A Belle of the Fifties (1904), a description of their Washington, D.C., home when it was a gathering place of capital society.
Clay, Henry, 1777-1852, American statesman, b. Hanover co., Va.

Early Career

His father died when he was four years old, and Clay's formal schooling was limited to three years. His stepfather secured (1792) for him a clerk's position in the Virginia high court of chancery. There he gained the regard of George Wythe, who directed his reading. Clay also read law under Robert Brooke, attorney general of Virginia, and in 1797 he was licensed to practice.

Moving in the same year to Lexington, Ky., he quickly gained wide reputation as a lawyer and orator. He served (1803-6) in the Kentucky legislature and was (1805-7) professor of law at Transylvania Univ. Having spent the short session of 1806-7 in the U.S. Senate, he returned (1807) to the state legislature, became (1808) speaker, and remained there until he was chosen to fill an unexpired term (1810-11) in the U.S. Senate.

Congressman

In 1810 Clay was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and served (1811-14) as speaker. As spokesman of Western expansionist interests and leader of the "war hawks," Clay stirred up enthusiasm for war with Great Britain and helped bring on the War of 1812. He resigned (1814) from Congress to aid in the peace negotiations leading to the Treaty of Ghent.

He again served (1815-21) in the House, again was speaker (1815-20), and began to formulate his "American system," a national program that ultimately included federal aid for internal improvements and tariff protection of American industries. In 1821, Clay, to pacify sectional interests, pushed the Missouri Compromise through the House. In the House for the last time (1823-25), he once more became (1823) speaker, and he did much to augment the powers of that office. In this session he secured the western extension of the National Road and, against much opposition, eloquently carried through the Tariff of 1824.

Secretary of State

As a candidate for the presidency in 1824, Clay had the fourth largest number of electoral votes, and, with no candidate having a majority, the election went to the House, where the three highest were to be voted upon. It became Clay's duty to vote for one of his rivals. Despite the Western interests of Andrew Jackson and despite the instructions of the Kentucky legislature to vote for him, Clay's dislike for the military hero was so intense that he voted for John Quincy Adams. When President Adams appointed Clay Secretary of State, Jackson's friends cried "corrupt bargain" and charged Clay with political collusion. Evidence has not been found to prove this, but the accusation impeded Clay's future political fortunes. As Secretary of State (1825-29), he secured congressional approval—which came too late for the American delegates to attend—of U.S. participation in the Pan-American Congress of 1826.

Senator

In 1828, Clay again supported Adams for President, and Jackson's success bitterly disappointed him. Although he intended to retire from politics, Clay was elected (1831) to the U.S. Senate and now led the National Republicans, who were beginning to call themselves Whigs (because they opposed Jackson's "tyranny"; see Whig party). Hoping to embarrass Jackson, Clay led the opposition in the Senate to the President's policies, but when the election came Jackson was overwhelmingly reelected.

Clay's chagrin was buried in the crisis developing over the tariff. South Carolina's nullification of the tariffs of 1828 and 1832 as well as Jackson's threats of armed invasion of that state allowed Clay to gain politically—working, even at the cost of his own protectionist views, toward a compromise with the John C. Calhoun faction, he helped to promote the Compromise Tariff of 1833.

Clay opposed the Jackson regime at every turn, particularly on the bank issue. When Jackson had the deposits removed (1833) from the Bank of the United States to his "pet banks," Clay secured in the Senate passage of a resolution—later expunged (Jan., 1837) from the record—censuring the President for his act.

Refusing to run for President in 1836, Clay continued his opposition tactics against Van Buren's administration and fought the subtreasury system in vain. In 1840, Clay lost the Whig nomination to William H. Harrison, mainly because of Thurlow Weed's adroit politics. Clay supported Harrison and, when Harrison was elected, was offered the post of Secretary of State, but he chose to stay in the Senate. He now planned to reestablish the Bank of the United States, but the unexpected accession of John Tyler to the presidency and his vetoes of Clay's bills caused Clay to resign his Senate seat.

In 1844 he ran against James K. Polk, an avowed expansionist. Earlier Clay had publicly opposed the annexation of Texas, and he restated his position in the "Alabama letters," agreeing to annexation if it could be accomplished with the common consent of the Union and without war. This maneuver probably lost him New York state, with which he could have won the election. His failure was crushing for him and for the Whig party. In 1848 his party refused him its nomination, feeling that he had no chance, and his presidential aspirations were never fulfilled.

He reentered (1849) the Senate when the country faced the slavery question in the territory newly acquired following the Mexican War. Clay denounced the extremists in both North and South, asserted the superior claims of the Union, and was chiefly instrumental in shaping the Compromise of 1850. It was the third time that he saved the Union in a crisis, and thus he has been called the Great Pacificator and the Great Compromiser.

Bibliography

Publication of Clay's papers (ed. by J. Hopkins) was begun in 1959. See also his works (7 vol., 1896); C. Eaton, Henry Clay and the Art of American Politics (1957); biographies by C. Schurz (1887, repr. 1968), G. Van Deusen (1937), and B. Mayo (1937, repr. 1966).

Clay, Lucius DuBignon, 1897-1978, American general, b. Marietta, Ga. A graduate of West Point and an engineering officer, he held many army administrative posts and became (1944) deputy director of the office of War Mobilization and Reconversion. Clay was (1945-47) deputy chief of the U.S. military government in Germany and in 1947 became commander of U.S. troops in Europe. He directed operations in the Berlin blockade as U.S. military governor (1947-49). Clay retired from the army as a full general in May, 1949, to enter private business. After the closing of the borders between East and West Berlin by the Communists, he served (Sept., 1961-May, 1962) as President Kennedy's personal representative in Berlin with the rank of ambassador. He wrote Decision in Germany (1950).
clay, common name for a number of fine-grained, earthy materials that become plastic when wet. Chemically, clays are hydrous aluminum silicates, ordinarily containing impurities, e.g., potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, or iron, in small amounts.

Properties and Classification

Properties of the clays include plasticity, shrinkage under firing and under air drying, fineness of grain, color after firing, hardness, cohesion, and capacity of the surface to take decoration. On the basis of such qualities clays are variously divided into classes or groups; products are generally made from mixtures of clays and other substances. The purest clays are the china clays and kaolins. "Ball clay" is a name for a group of plastic, refractory (high-temperature) clays used with other clays to improve their plasticity and to increase their strength. Bentonites are clays composed of very fine particles derived usually from volcanic ash. They are composed chiefly of the hydrous magnesium-calcium-aluminum silicate called montmorillonite. See also fuller's earth.

Individual clay particles are always smaller than 0.004 mm. Clays often form colloidal suspensions when immersed in water, but the clay particles flocculate (clump) and settle quickly in saline water. Clays are easily molded into a form that they retain when dry, and they become hard and lose their plasticity when subjected to heat.

Formation

Clays are divided into two classes: residual clay, found in the place of origin, and transported clay, also known as sedimentary clay, removed from the place of origin by an agent of erosion and deposited in a new and possibly distant position. Residual clays are most commonly formed by surface weathering, which gives rise to clay in three ways—by the chemical decomposition of rocks, such as granite, containing silica and alumina; by the solution of rocks, such as limestone, containing clayey impurities, which, being insoluble, are deposited as clay; and by the disintegration and solution of shale. One of the commonest processes of clay formation is the chemical decomposition of feldspar.

Clay consists of a sheet of interconnected silicates combined with a second sheetlike grouping of metallic atoms, oxygen, and hydroxyl, forming a two-layer mineral such as kaolinite. Sometimes the latter sheetlike structure is found sandwiched between two silica sheets, forming a three-layer mineral such as vermiculite. In the lithification process, compacted clay layers can be transformed into shale. Under the intense heat and pressure that may develop in the layers, the shale can be metamorphosed into slate.

Uses

From prehistoric times, clay has been indispensable in architecture, in industry, and in agriculture. As a building material, it is used in the form of brick, either sun-dried (adobe) or fired. Clays are also of great industrial importance, e.g., in the manufacture of tile for wall and floor coverings, of porcelain, china, and earthenware, and of pipe for drainage and sewage. Highly absorbent, bentonite is much used in foundry work for facing the molds and preparing the molding sands for casting metals. The less absorbent bentonites are used chiefly in the oil industry, e.g., as filtering and deodorizing agents in the refining of petroleum and, mixed with other materials, as drilling muds to protect the cutting bit while drilling. Other uses are in the making of fillers, sizings, and dressings in construction, in clarifying water and wine, in purifying sewage, and in the paper, ceramics, plastics, and rubber industries.

Clay as a Soil

Clay is one of the three principal types of soil, the other two being sand and loam. A certain amount of clay is a desirable constituent of soil, since it binds other kinds of particles together and makes the whole retentive of water. Excessively clayey soils, however, are exceedingly difficult to cultivate. Their stiffness presents resistance to implements, impedes the growth of the plants, and prevents free circulation of air around the roots. They are cold and sticky in wet weather, while in dry weather they bake hard and crack. Clods form very often in clayey soils. Clays can be improved by the addition of lime, chalk, or organic matter; sodium nitrate, however, intensifies the injurious effects. In spite of their disadvantages, the richness of clay soils makes them favorable to the growth of crops that have been started in other soil.

Bibliography

See R. E. Grim, Clay Mineralogy (2d ed. 1968); R. W. Grimshaw, The Chemistry and Physics of Clays and Allied Ceramic Materials (4th ed. 1971).

or pan or flat or dry lake

Flat-bottomed depression that is periodically covered by water. Playas occur in interior desert basins and adjacent to coasts in arid and semiarid regions. The water that periodically covers the playa slowly filters into the groundwater system or evaporates into the atmosphere, causing the deposition of salt, sand, and mud along the bottom and around the edges of the depression.

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Any of a group of important hydrous aluminum silicates with a layered structure and very small (less than 0.005 mm or microscopic) particle size. They are usually the products of weathering. Clay minerals occur widely in such sedimentary rocks as mudstones and shales, in marine sediments, and in soils. Different geologic environments produce different clay minerals from the same parent rock. They are used in the petroleum industry (as drilling muds and as catalysts in refining) and in the processing of vegetable and mineral oils (as decolorizing agents).

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Soil particles with diameters less than 0.005 mm; also a material composed essentially of clay particles (see clay mineral). In soils, clays provide the environment for almost all plant growth. The use of clay in pottery making predates recorded human history. As building materials, clay bricks (baked and as adobe) have been used in construction since earliest times. Kaolin, or china clay, is required for the finer grades of ceramic materials; used for paper coating and filler, it gives the paper a gloss, permitting high-quality reproduction, and increases paper opacity. Clay materials have many uses in engineering; earth dams are made impermeable to water by a core of clay, and water loss in canals may be reduced by lining the bottom with clay (called puddling). The essential raw materials of portland cement include clays.

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In geology, the unsorted material deposited directly by glacial ice and showing no stratification. Till is sometimes called boulder clay because it is composed of clay, boulders of intermediate size, or both. The rock fragments are usually angular and sharp rather than rounded, because they are deposited from ice and have undergone little water transport. The pebbles and boulders may be faceted and striated from grinding while lodged in the glacier.

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or till-less agriculture

Cultivation technique in which the soil is disturbed only along the slit or hole into which seeds are planted. Reserved detritus from previous crops covers and protects the seedbed. Primary benefits are a decreased rate of soil erosion; reduced need for equipment, fuel, and fertilizer; and significantly less time required for tending crops. The method also improves soil-aggregate formation, microbial activity in the soil, and water infiltration and storage. Conventional tillage controls weed growth by plowing and cultivating, but no-till farming selectively uses herbicides to kill weeds and the remains of the previous crop. No-till farming is one of several primitive farming methods revived as conservation measures in the 20th century.

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German peasant trickster of folk and literary tales. The historical Till is said to have died in 1350; anecdotes associated with his name were printed circa 1500 in Low German and from 1515 in High German. In the tales the stupid yet cunning peasant demonstrates his superiority to the narrow, dishonest, condescending townsmen, as well as to the clergy and nobility. The tales were translated into Dutch and English (circa 1520), French (1532), and Latin (1558).

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(born April 23, 1897, Marietta, Ga., U.S.—died April 16, 1978, Cape Cod, Mass.) U.S. army officer. After graduating from West Point, he served in various military engineering assignments. In World War II he directed the U.S. Army procurement program (1942–44). In 1945 he was appointed deputy military governor of the U.S. zone of occupation in defeated Germany. Two years later he was elevated to commander in chief of U.S. forces in Europe and military governor of the U.S. zone. In 1948–49 he organized the successful Allied airlift of food and supplies into Berlin during the Soviet blockade of that city (see Berlin blockade and airlift). After retiring in 1949, he entered private business and became an unofficial adviser to Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower.

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(born , Dec. 19, 1849, West Overton, Pa., U.S.—died Dec. 2, 1919, New York, N.Y.) U.S. industrialist. He began building and operating coke ovens in 1870 and organized his own company in 1871. From 1889 he served as chairman of Carnegie Steel Co., the world's largest manufacturer of steel and coke. His role in the violent steel strike of 1892 in Homestead, Pa., provoked an anarchist to shoot and stab him, but he survived. He was instrumental in the formation of the U.S. Steel Corp. in 1901. A noted art collector and philanthropist, he bequeathed the Frick Collection to New York City. Seealso Andrew Carnegie.

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Henry Clay, by Frederick and William Langenheim, 1850.

(born April 12, 1777, Hanover county, Va., U.S.—died June 29, 1852, Washington, D.C.) U.S. politician. He practiced law from 1797 in Virginia and then in Kentucky, where he served in the state legislature (1803–09). He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (1811–14, 1815–21, 1823–25); as House speaker (1811–14), he was among those who propelled the U.S. into the War of 1812. He supported a national economic policy of protective tariffs, known as the American System, a national bank, and improvements to internal transportation. His support of the Missouri Compromise earned him the nicknames “The Great Pacificator” and “The Great Compromiser.” After his bid for the presidency in 1824 fell short, Clay threw his support to John Quincy Adams, who made him his secretary of state (1825–29). He served in the U.S. Senate (1806–07, 1810–11, and 1831–42), where he supported the compromise tariff of 1833. He was the National Republican Party candidate for president in 1832 and the Whig Party candidate in 1844. In his last Senate term (1849–52) he argued strongly for passage of the Compromise of 1850.

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(born , Dec. 19, 1849, West Overton, Pa., U.S.—died Dec. 2, 1919, New York, N.Y.) U.S. industrialist. He began building and operating coke ovens in 1870 and organized his own company in 1871. From 1889 he served as chairman of Carnegie Steel Co., the world's largest manufacturer of steel and coke. His role in the violent steel strike of 1892 in Homestead, Pa., provoked an anarchist to shoot and stab him, but he survived. He was instrumental in the formation of the U.S. Steel Corp. in 1901. A noted art collector and philanthropist, he bequeathed the Frick Collection to New York City. Seealso Andrew Carnegie.

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(born April 23, 1897, Marietta, Ga., U.S.—died April 16, 1978, Cape Cod, Mass.) U.S. army officer. After graduating from West Point, he served in various military engineering assignments. In World War II he directed the U.S. Army procurement program (1942–44). In 1945 he was appointed deputy military governor of the U.S. zone of occupation in defeated Germany. Two years later he was elevated to commander in chief of U.S. forces in Europe and military governor of the U.S. zone. In 1948–49 he organized the successful Allied airlift of food and supplies into Berlin during the Soviet blockade of that city (see Berlin blockade and airlift). After retiring in 1949, he entered private business and became an unofficial adviser to Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower.

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Henry Clay, by Frederick and William Langenheim, 1850.

(born April 12, 1777, Hanover county, Va., U.S.—died June 29, 1852, Washington, D.C.) U.S. politician. He practiced law from 1797 in Virginia and then in Kentucky, where he served in the state legislature (1803–09). He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (1811–14, 1815–21, 1823–25); as House speaker (1811–14), he was among those who propelled the U.S. into the War of 1812. He supported a national economic policy of protective tariffs, known as the American System, a national bank, and improvements to internal transportation. His support of the Missouri Compromise earned him the nicknames “The Great Pacificator” and “The Great Compromiser.” After his bid for the presidency in 1824 fell short, Clay threw his support to John Quincy Adams, who made him his secretary of state (1825–29). He served in the U.S. Senate (1806–07, 1810–11, and 1831–42), where he supported the compromise tariff of 1833. He was the National Republican Party candidate for president in 1832 and the Whig Party candidate in 1844. In his last Senate term (1849–52) he argued strongly for passage of the Compromise of 1850.

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(born Oct. 19, 1810, Madison county, Ky., U.S.—died July 22, 1903, Whitehall, Ky.) U.S. abolitionist and politician. The son of a slaveholder and a relative of Henry Clay, he was strongly influenced by the abolitionist ideas of William Lloyd Garrison. In 1845 he founded the antislavery publication True American in Lexington, Ky., but he was forced by opponents to move it to Cincinnati, Ohio, and then to Louisville, Ky., where it was renamed The Examiner. He helped found the Republican Party in 1854. As U.S. minister to Russia (1861–62, 1863–69), he helped negotiate the Alaska Purchase.

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(born Oct. 19, 1810, Madison county, Ky., U.S.—died July 22, 1903, Whitehall, Ky.) U.S. abolitionist and politician. The son of a slaveholder and a relative of Henry Clay, he was strongly influenced by the abolitionist ideas of William Lloyd Garrison. In 1845 he founded the antislavery publication True American in Lexington, Ky., but he was forced by opponents to move it to Cincinnati, Ohio, and then to Louisville, Ky., where it was renamed The Examiner. He helped found the Republican Party in 1854. As U.S. minister to Russia (1861–62, 1863–69), he helped negotiate the Alaska Purchase.

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Clay is a naturally occurring material composed primarily of fine-grained minerals, which show plasticity through a variable range of water content, and which can be hardened when dried and/or fired. Clay deposits are mostly composed of clay minerals (phyllosilicate minerals), minerals which impart plasticity and harden when fired and/or dried, and variable amounts of water trapped in the mineral structure by polar attraction. Organic materials which do not impart plasticity may also be a part of clay deposits.

Clay minerals are typically formed over long periods of time by the gradual chemical weathering of rocks (usually silicate-bearing) by low concentrations of carbonic acid and other diluted solvents. These solvents (usually acidic) migrate through the weathering rock after leaching through upper weathered layers. In addition to the weathering process, some clay minerals are formed by hydrothermal activity. Clay deposits may be formed in place as residual deposits, but thick deposits usually are formed as the result of a secondary sedimentary deposition process after they have been eroded and transported from their original location of formation. Clay deposits are typically associated with very low energy depositional environments such as large lake and marine deposits.

Definition

Clays are distinguished from other fine-grained soils by various differences in composition. Silts, which are fine-grained soils which do not include clay minerals, tend to have larger particle sizes than clays, but there is some overlap in both particle size and other physical properties, and there are many naturally occurring deposits which include both silts and clays. The distinction between silt and clay varies by discipline. Geologists and soil scientists usually consider the separation to occur at a particle size of 2 µm (clays being finer than silts), sedimentologists often use 4-5 μm, and colloid chemists use 1 μm. Geotechnical engineers distinguish between silts and clays based on the plasticity properties of the soil, as measured by the soils' Atterberg Limits. ISO 14688 grades clay particles as being smaller than 0.063 mm, and silts larger. Primary clays, also known as kaolins, are located at the site of formation. Secondary clay deposits have been moved by erosion and water from its primary location.

Grouping

Depending upon academic source, there are three or four main groups of clays: kaolinite, montmorillonite-smectite, illite, and chlorite. Chlorites are not always considered a clay, sometimes being classified as a separate group within the phyllosilicates. There are approximately thirty different types of "pure" clays in these categories, but most "natural" clays are mixtures of these different types, along with other weathered minerals.

Varve (or varved clay) is clay with visible annual layers, formed by seasonal differences in erosion and organic content. This type of deposit is common in former glacial lakes.

Quick clay is a unique type of marine clay indigenous to the glaciated terrains of Norway, Canada and Sweden. It is a highly sensitive clay, prone to liquefaction, which has been involved in several deadly landslides.

Historical and modern uses

Clays exhibit plasticity when mixed with water in certain proportions. When dry, clay becomes firm and when fired in a kiln, permanent physical and chemical reactions occur which, amongst other changes, causes the clay to be converted into a ceramic material. It is because of these properties that clay is used for making pottery items, both practical and decorative. Different types of clay, when used with different minerals and firing conditions, are used to produce earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. Early humans discovered the useful properties of clay in prehistoric times, and one of the earliest artifacts ever uncovered is a drinking vessel made of sun-dried clay. Depending on the content of the soil, clay can appear in various colors, from a dull gray to a deep orange-red.

Clay tablets were used as the first writing medium, inscribed with cuneiform script through the use of a blunt reed called a stylus.

Clays sintered in fire were the first form of ceramic. Bricks, cooking pots, art objects, dishware and even musical instruments such as the ocarina can all be shaped from clay before being fired. Clay is also used in many industrial processes, such as paper making, cement production and chemical filtering. Clay is also often used in the manufacture of pipes for smoking tobacco.

Clay, being relatively impermeable to water, is also used where natural seals are needed, such as in the cores of dams, or as a barrier in landfills against toxic seepage ('lining' the landfill, preferably in combination with geotextiles).

Recent studies have been carried out to investigate clay's adsorption capacities in various applications, such as the removal of heavy metals from waste water and air purification.

Medical

A recent article in The Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy found that certain iron-rich clay was effective in killing bacteria.

See also

Footnotes

References

  • Clay mineral nomenclature American Mineralogist.
  • Ehlers, Ernest G. and Blatt, Harvey (1982). 'Petrology, Igneous, Sedimentary, and Metamorphic' San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Company. ISBN 0-7167-1279-2.
  • Hillier S. (2003) Clay Mineralogy. pp 139-142 In: Middleton G.V., Church M.J., Coniglio M., Hardie L.A. and Longstaffe F.J.(Editors) Encyclopedia of sediments and sedimentary rocks. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht.

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