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Book: Acid Sulfate Weathering
Published by: Soil Science Society of America



  1.  p. 193-208
    SSSA Special Publication 10.
    Acid Sulfate Weathering

    J.A. Kittrick, D.S. Fanning and L.R. Hossner (ed.)

    ISBN: 978-0-89118-905-3


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Relation of Pyritic Sandstone Weathering to Soil and Minesoil Properties1

  1. R. N. Singh,
  2. W. E. Grube Jr.,
  3. R. M. Smith and
  4. R. F. Keefer2


Mahoning sandstone rock strata above surface mineable coal was compared chemically and mineralogically with minesoils developed there—from and with adjacent soils to evaluate weathering and soil development. The weathered zone of rock was found to be about 6 m deep and was acidic, high in Al and free Fe, but low in S and in exchangeable bases. This weathered (high chroma) sandstone contained quartz, kaolinite, and minor amounts of mica and vermiculite. An unweathered zone of rock below 6 m was basic to slightly acid, low in exchangeable Al and free Fe, but higher in S and exchangeable bases. This unweathered (low chroma) sandstone contained quartz, kaolinite, and mica along with authigenic pyrite and carbonates. Weathering resulted in vermiculitization of the highly crystalline mica of the Mahoning sandstone. Soil development was directly related to the underlying rock material as determined by chemical and mineralogical analyses. The data show that proper placement of overburden rock resulted in edaphologically desirable minesoils, whereas haphazard overburden replacement enhanced pyritic oxidation and acidity which inhibited successful revegetation.

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Copyright © 1982. Copyright 1982 by the Soil Science Society of America, Inc., 5585 Guilford Rd., Madison, WI 53711 USA