Shape and Nature of Small Sedimentary Quartz Particles

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Science  22 Jun 1973:
Vol. 180, Issue 4092, pp. 1277-1279
DOI: 10.1126/science.180.4092.1277


Quartz particles in sediments become flatter with decreasing size; a cleavage mechanism may operate below the critical size of about 100 microns. Flat particles would tend to form a more open packing than spherical particles, and this may contribute to the collapse of loess and similar soils and the sudden loss of strength observed in "sensitive" clay soils.