A great deal of mineralogy has focused on determining crystal structures of minerals. Amorphous materials are often compared to crystalline materials of the same composition in order to predict atomic structure in the disordered phase. However, there are many instances when such analogies will break down or no crystalline counterpart exists. Even mineral surface structures may be significantly different from the bulk mineral structure, particularly when the mineral surface has undergone reaction with aqueous solutions (e.g., Hellman et al. 1997). Although unambiguous determination of the atomic structure of an amorphous phase is generally more problematic than for crystalline phases, modern...

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