Desert Varnish: The Importance of Clay
|ssell M. Potter and George R.
Division of Geological and Planetary
California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, CA 91125
Abstract. Desert varnish has been
characterized by infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and electron
microscopy. It is a distinct morphological entity having an abrupt
boundary with the underlying rock. Clay minerals comprise more than 70
percent of the varnish. Iron and manganese oxides constitute the bulk
of the remainder and are dispersed throughout the clay layer
Infrared spectra of desert varnish showing the dominant features
attributable to clay minerals.