The structure of dioctahedral true micas such as muscovite and celadonitic muscovite (2M1 polytype, space group C2/c) is mostly affected by variations of the octahedral Al (VIAl) content. Crystals with greater Mg, Fe substitutions (i.e. celadonitic muscovite) reduce the dimensional difference between the larger trans-oriented M1 site and smaller cis-oriented M2 octahedral site. The octahedral anionic position O4 is displaced from the center of the hexagon, defined by O31 and O32 oxygen atoms (i.e. ‘octahedral hexagon’), both on and off the (001) plane. The distance between interlayer cation A and O4 is smaller in more substituted species, thus providing different orientations of the O4–H vector, as a function of VIAl. Octahedral distances (<M2–O3> and < M2–O4> are expressed as a function of cell parameters and VIAl content, thus allowing an approximate estimate of site dimensions. These approximations are useful when a detailed structural refinement is not available. In celadonitic muscovite, the octahedral hexagon mean edge (<O31−O32>Hex) is not significantly affected by VIAl content. The VIAl increase produces both a decrease in cell lateral dimensions and a distorted ‘octahedral hexagon’. The decrease in a and b is consistent with a decrease of <O31−O32>Hex, whereas the distortion of the ‘octahedral hexagon’ is consistent with an increase of (<O31−O32>Hex), because an irregular hexagon produces a longer mean edge than a regular hexagon of equal area.

The tetrahedral mean basal edge (VI<O−O>basal) is reduced as celadonitic substitution progresses. The tetrahedral rotation angle, α was thus found to increase from celadonite to muscovite. However, in muscovite with VIAl content between 1.8 and 2.0 atoms per formula unit (a.p.f.u.), α approaches a saturation value, thus showing a proportional increase of tetrahedral and octahedral sheet lateral dimensions. Furthermore, α variation allows a coarse approximation of the threshold VIAl content, below which celadonitic substitution may not progress.

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