The crystallinity and mineralogy of both the glauconite and the clay fraction of samples from six contemporary marine environments were investigated by X-ray diffraction. In those areas where glauconite is now forming, the mineralogy and the degree of crystallinity of both the glauconite pellets and the associated clay fraction are similar. In contrast, detrital and relic glauconites are observed to have mineralogies that are different from their clay fractions. No consistent relationship was observed between degree of crystallinity and color of the pellets. Further, only two classes of glauconite as defined by BURST (1958) were common: expandable, interlayered clays and two or more clay minerals in a mixed assemblage.

Based on the clay fraction-glauconite similarities and other supporting evidence, glauconite on the Scotia Ridge is concluded to be authigenic. Glauconite from Santa Monica Bay, California and from the continental shelf off Morocco appear to be detrital. Glauconite pellets in the shelf sediments off Guinea and the southeastern Atlantic Shelf of the United States are both detrital and authigenic. The poor crystallinity exhibited by the Chatham Rise glauconite is in contrast to the well-crystallized associated clay fraction and indicates that they are not genetically related. However, the origin of this glauconite remains in doubt.