Aside:

Based on my research from the last few weeks I am hoping to test bentonite that is calcium or sodium rich. I found a great article “Transformation of Smectite to Illite in Bentonite and Associated Sediments from Kaka Point, New Zealand: Contrast in Rate and Mechasim,” which will be a great resource if our bentonite samples are not as simple as calcium and sodium rich . I hope to compare our field results to the results found in this paper. The paper  uses similar methods that we will be using such as SEM imaging (Smectite).

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