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Decomposed glass often appears laminated, with iridescent layers on the surface. Glass retrieved from an acid environment often has an iridescent film, which is formed by the leached silica layers. The alkali which leached out is neutralized by the acid, and fewer hydroxyl ions are available to react with the silica. This causes the silica layer to thicken and become gelatinized. Glass excavated from an alkaline environment is less likely to have laminated layers because there is an abundance of hydroxyl ions to react with the silica network. Usually a protective layer does not form on glass exposed to alkaline solutions. The dissolution of the glass proceeds at a constant rate. The alkali ions are always extracted in excess of the silica, leaving an alkali-deficient layer, which continually thickens as the deterioration moves deeper into the glass.
Decomposed glass often appears laminated, with iridescent layers on the surface. Glass retrieved from an acid environment often has an iridescent film, which is formed by the leached silica layers. The alkali which leached out is neutralized by the acid, and fewer hydroxyl ions are available to react with the silica. This causes the silica layer to thicken and become gelatinized. Glass excavated from an alkaline environment is less likely to have laminated layers because there is an abundance...
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