Spectral characteristics of clay minerals in the 2.5 - 14 µm wavelength region

F.A. Yitagesu, F.D. van der Meer, H.M.A. van der Werff, C.A. Hecker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Identification and quantification of clay minerals, particularly those that are responsible for susceptibility of soils to expansion and shrinkage, is a constant focus of research in geotechnical engineering. The visible, near infrared and short wave infrared wavelength regions are well explored. However, little is understood about the spectral characteristics of such clay minerals in the wavelength longer than 2.5 μm. The objective in this study was to explore the potential of laboratory spectroscopy in the 2.5–14 μm wavelength region for characterizing clay minerals.Montmorillonite, illite and kaolinitewere investigated, for these clay minerals are key indicators of soil expansion and shrinkage potential. Characteristic absorption bands and their changes for mixtures of clay minerals were determined. Partial least squares (PLS) regressions in combination with continuum removal analyseswere used to determinewavelength regions that best discriminate differences inmineralogical contents. Spectral contrast was high in the 3–5 μm wavelength region but overall low in the 8–14 μm. The clay minerals were characterized by strong, diagnostic absorption bands.Much of the variation in compositions of themixtures was explained by the PLS models (coefficients of correlations of N0.90). Thus, spectroscopy in the 2.5–14 μm wavelength region is a useful technique for characterizing clay minerals
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-591
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Clay Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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