Q:

How is clay formed?

A:

Clay most commonly forms due to erosion or weathering; both methods involve rocks coming into contact with something, such as air or water, to form the clay from existing minerals on the ground. It is common for clay to form in specific geological environments, such as where there are volcanic deposits, marine sediments or soil horizons.

Know More

Full Answer

Erosion and weathering both result in the breaking down of rocks, and this can occur because of natural elements, such as ice and wind, or because of chemical elements, such as acid. The processes result in either primary or secondary clay deposits, with primary deposits originated in the soil where they were formed and secondary deposits moving from where they originated. More rarely, hydrothermal activity can cause clay to form.

Learn more in Geology

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is clay made of?

    A:

    Clay is a soft, earthy material made up of a number of minerals rich in alumina, silica and water. Clay can also contain other minerals that affect the characteristics of the clay.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How are minerals classified?

    A:

    Minerals are most commonly classified by the Dana system. Minerals are identified according to hardness, specific gravity, color, luster, streak, cleavage and crystal form.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some characteristics of all minerals?

    A:

    Some important characteristics of minerals are color, hardness, streak, cleavage, fracture and luster. These characteristics do not require any complicated equipment to determine and are useful in identifying specific minerals.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What minerals are in marble?

    A:

    The mineral content of marble is primarily calcite, as well as smaller quantities of quartz, mica and pyrite. Trace minerals of clay or iron oxides in the marble may affect the color of the rock.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore