Guggenheim, Stephen Department of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois.
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A group of minerals common in some soils and clays and belonging to the family of minerals called phyllosilicates (sheet silicate). Species within the vermiculite group are denoted as either dioctahedral vermiculite or trioctahedral vermiculite, with two or three octahedral cation sites occupied per formula unit, respectively. The chemical composition of trioctahedral vermiculite, which is more common than the dioctahedral variety, is approximately Mg3(Al Si3)O10(OH)2·Mg0.5(H2O)4–6. See also: Clay minerals; Silicate minerals
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