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Marl Mineral

Last updated date: 28th May 2024
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Every rock is formed under various chemicals, physical, and biological conditions, resulting in the formation of a diverse group of minerals that can be used in a variety of applications. Different forms of rocks exit on earth such as strong, fragile, permeable, and impermeable.

Marling, a centuries-old method, and the more recent application of rock powder to soils are both interventions in the organic energy budget of soils. Both are long-acting, slow-release fertilisers, or better yet, soil conditioners. An analysis of beliefs and skills from the 1st century AD to the 1800s is presented for marls, while a review of the recent analytical and empirical literature is presented for rock powders.

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Marl Mining

In the 1800s, marl was widely used as a soil conditioner in Central New Jersey. Blue marl was the most popular marl in 1863. Blue marl usually composed of 38.70 percent silicic acid and sand, 30.67 percent oxide of iron, 13.91 percent carbonate of lime, 11.22 percent water, 4.47 percent potash, 1.21 percent magnesia, 1.14 percent phosphoric acid, and 0.31 percent sulphuric acid, but exact composition and properties differed depending on which layer it was contained in. Marl was in demand for farm use and this continued for farming in the 21st century also.

Formation of Marl

Both clastic and chemical-biogenic origins are possible for the rocks.

Carbonate may be washed in as detritus, and it often returns to plankton carbonate skeletons or biochemically precipitated calcite.

It is critical to characterise the Marl in order to address all relevant geotechnical engineering issues. The typology, creation, physical, chemical properties, as well as feedback from some geotechnical field and laboratory tests are essential things to look for in marl mineral.

Finding Marl

Marl is common lacustrine sediment found in post-glacial lake-bed sediments, particularly beneath peat bogs. It's been used as a soil conditioner and a neutralizer for acidic soil.

Marl is found in India in association with limestone. Marl resources can be found in Gujarat's Amreli, Junagarh, Jamnagar, and Porbandar districts. The cement industry consumes the marl primarily for the manufacture of cement.

Types of Marl

Marl soils are fine, cohesive sedimentary rocks deposits and cover a large area of Algiers' south-east, east, and west, where most of the city's and region's growth is still underway. The largest marl soil deposit was discovered to be more than 200 metres deep, forming a homogeneous and massive substratum in most cases. The geotechnical activity is determined by carbonate amount and clay mineral type. There are the following types of marls depending on the degree of weathering and they are Weathered, Intact and Intermediate.

Usage of Marl

Food, drugs, jewellery, pencils, makeup, paths, tools, floors, monuments, sculptures, and other items all contain rocks. Many different types of rocks have been used as building blocks for buildings since ancient times and are still in use today. Many sectors like medical, industrial and others use Marl.

  • Soil Conditioner- Marl has traditionally been used as a soil conditioner and acid neutralizer

  • Decoratives- Marl is also used to decorate and in floor tiles. Also, it is used as a building stone.

  • Creative’s-With marl, small figures, artifacts, sculpture and jewellery can be made.

  • Cement Manufacturing- Marl obtained is also used in the process of making cement. The material used for cement manufacture is called Marlbrook.

Roads and highways construction has a base of Marl as it consists of carbonate (CaCO3) and clays with varying percentages and occasional traces of organic matter, silt, or sand. The base and sub-base layers of highway pavements use Marl. This form of soil is weak and sensitive to water, and immersion will result in a significant loss of bearing ability.

The soil is recommended to use in construction projects because of its high water sensitivity and strength. Before recommendation, proper engineering treatment is required.


Glauconite is an iron potash rich mica of the mica group mineral that has green colour. This mica mineral is very powdery, chalky and has very low weathering resistance. It crystallizes together with monoclinic geometry.

Once mined, greensand (glauconite) is dried and utilized as a soil conditioner. Greensand is also quite commonly used in water softeners principally to remove iron from the water. Recent research has also revealed that greensand has the potential for execution as a filter of heavy metals from industrial waste water and landfill leachates.

Marl and Scientific Study

Various types of experimental research have been conducted on marl deposits. They are good study sites for recovering a variety of fossil plant and animal remains, which can be used to analyze evolving ecosystems in the postglacial period.

FAQs on Marl Mineral

1. What is Marl Mineral?

Answer: Marl Mineral is a sedimentary rock that comprises a mixture of calcium carbonate and clay. Marl, also known as marlstone, is a carbonate-rich mudstone with varying quantities of clays and silt. The term originally used to refer to a wide range of materials, the majority of which exist as loose, earthy deposits made up primarily of an intimate mixture of clay and calcium carbonate that form in freshwater.

Marl, also known as marlstone, is a lime-rich mudstone with varying amounts of clays and silt. Calcite is the most common carbonate mineral in marl, but other carbonate minerals such as dolomite, aragonite, and siderite may also be present.

2. What is Marl Composed of?

Answer: Marl has clay and calcium carbonate and the composition is 35–65% clay and 65–35% calcium carbonate. Calcite, aragonite, dolomite, and siderite are the most common carbonate minerals found in marls. A carbonate is a type of mudstone that belongs to the pelitic rock group.  Chemical-biogenic and clastic origins are both possible.

3. What are the Colours of Marl?

Answer: Marls are whitish-grey or brownish, but they may also be grey, green, red, or variegated. The green mineral glauconite is found in green marls, while iron oxides are found in red marl. Marl is more difficult to split than shale and breaks in blocks. Nodules are common in specimens, and nodules are better cemented than the rock layers.