The origin and formation of soil clay minerals, namely micas, vermiculites, smectites, chlorites and interlayered minerals, interstratified minerals and kaolin minerals, are broadly reviewed in the context of research over the past half century. In particular, the pioneer overviews of Millot, Pedro and Duchaufour in France and of Jackson in the USA, are considered in the light of selected examples from the huge volume of work that has since taken place on this topic. It is concluded that these early overviews may still be regarded as being generally valid, although it may be that too much emphasis has been placed upon transformation mechanisms and not enough upon neoformation processes. This review also highlights some of the many problems pertaining to the origin and formation of soil clays that remain to be resolved.

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