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The origin of clays and clay minerals in the Paleocene Clayton (CF) and Porters Creek (PCF) Formations within the Mississippi embayment of central North America has been debated for more than 50 years. X-ray diffraction and petrographic analysis of samples of the CF and PCF from a mine in southeastern Missouri are used to evaluate contributions from Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) impact debris and the role of sediment diagenesis in the fine-grained sediment.

Expandable clay minerals increase in abundance relative to illite and kaolinite above the K-Pg unconformity in the CF and PCF, and include dioctahedral smectite, vermiculite, and minor mixed-layered clay...

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