What is a smectite?

What is a smectite? Here are some definitions.

  1. (mineralogy) Any of many clay phyllosilicate minerals that have a relatively open structure
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The transformation of smectite to illite produces silica, sodium, calcium, magnesium, iron and water.
The Lafayette meteorite contains abundant iddingsite, a fine-grained intergrowth of smectite clay, ferrihydrite, and ionic salt minerals.
The lake may have dried up or nearly dried up periodically, producing outward concentric zones of albite, analcime, clinoptilolite, and smectite.
The clay is composed of illite and kaolinite, with minor amounts of chlorite and smectite.
The limestone-dolomite breccia is characterized by abundant palygorskite, minor sepiolite, rare kaolinite and near absence of smectite.
Although type 1 Mg-smectite may be derived from tektitcs, or volcanic glass, there is strong evidence that the smectite spherules are of tektite origin.

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