Abstract

The quantitative interpretation of the reflection intensities of the SAED patterns of glauconites reveals the mechanism of migration of the octahedral sheet cations during heating up to 750°C. It confirms that Mg2+ has a greater ability than Fe3+ to migrate from cis- to trans-sites, as previously found by means of XRD pattern modelling. For samples heated to 650°C, the two formerly vacant trans-sites in the base-centred unit-cell become occupied, but differently, which leads to a primitive unit-cell, and the cis-sites remain filled almost entirely by Fe3+ only. The cation migration occurs through the nearest shared edges in the [010] and [310] directions. The samples heated to 750°C reveal a base-centred super-cell with A = 3a and B = b. All Mg cations leave the cis-sites to occupy completely four of the six available trans-sites of the super-cell. Migration also occurs through the shared edges in the [010] and [310] directions. The primitive unit-cell is not an intermediate step in the migration process leading to the super-cell. The existence of additional satellites in the SAED patterns of some crystals heated to 750°C corresponds to the existence of antiphase domains with a 3b/2 width and an antiphase shift of a/2.

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