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Results of current work suggest that the composition of glauconite pellets can be used both for correlation and for interpreting environments of deposition. In one area, differences in the composition of glauconite pellets from two beds persist for about 150 miles along strike. In another, differences in composition can be correlated with differences in foraminiferal faunas which represent, on the basis of Recent forms, marsh, inner neritic, and middle neritic environments.
The term "glauconite" is currently being used with a dual connotation. Originally coined (GR. glaukos = bluish green) as a description for a blue-green micaceous mineral, this word is now widely used as a morphological term for small, spherical, green, earthy pellets. By X-ray, these pellets can be grouped in four general mineralogical classifications, only one of which has the diffraction properties usually attributed to the mineral glauconite. These differences are not necessarily reflected in the size, shape, or color of the pellets.
Glauconite pellets are deemed to result from a variety of origins that require the three-layer silicate lattice, supplies of potassium and iron, and a suitable oxidation potential for transformation. Variations in these three fundamental requirements are believed responsible for the pellet variations.
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