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On kaolinitic and mixed mineralogy classes of shrink-swell soils


, : On kaolinitic and mixed mineralogy classes of shrink-swell soils. Australian Journal of Soil Research 35(6): 1245-1252

Spatially associated red (Typic Hapludalf) and black (Vertic Eutropept) soils developed on the Deccan plateau in the Western Ghats of India were analysed for clay mineralogy and also physical properties relating to shrink-swell. This was done in order to examine a possible correlation between shrink-swell phenomena and the content of expansible clay minerals, and to reconcile the apparent incompatibility between such a correlation and the classification of some Vertisols into kaolinitic, illitic, and mixed mineralogy classes. The fine clay mineralogy of the red soil was dominated by interstratified smectite/kaolinite with a little amount of smectite, but it had low cation exchange capacities and other associated non-vertic physical properties. Some of the smectite was interlayered with chlorite. This red soil is grouped into the kaolinitic mineralogy class. The fine clay mineralogy of the black soil was dominated by a highly smectitic interstratified smectite/kaolinite and also some smectite, which also shows some interlayering with chlorite. This soil has vertic physical properties hut has a mixed mineralogy classification. The results suggest that there is an incompatibility between marked shrink-swell characteristics and mineralogical classification of soils in Soil Taxonomy, in view of the fact that it is smectite content which governs the vertic character of soils.

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