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



  1.  p. 77-94
    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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Microbial Formation of Basic Ferric Sulfates in Laboratory Systems and in Soils

  1. G. J. Ross,
  2. K. C. Ivarson and
  3. N. M. Miles1


Microbial formation of basic ferric sulfates in laboratory systems and in soils was investigated. It was shown that in laboratory systems incubated at 28 C and containing Thiobacillus ferrooxidans, ferrous sulfate, feldspars, micas, and montmorillonites, the alkali cations required for basic ferric sulfate formation were supplied by the minerals. During this process feldspars and illite dissolved congruently and released Na and K non-preferentially but glauconite released K preferentially producing a nontronite phase. In the presence of feldspars and micas the rate of basic ferric sulfate formation depended on the weather ability of these minerals; in the presence of K, NH4, and Na-saturated montmorillonite the rate followed the order jarosite > ammoniojarosite > natrojarosite. Hydronium jarosite formed slowly in the presence of Li-saturated montmorillonite. In systems containing dissolved salts of K + NH4, K + Na, and NH4 + Na, solid solutions of basic ferric sulfates containing these cation pairs were formed. The rapid formation of jarosite as compared with other forms of basic ferric sulfates agrees with its reported more common occurrence in acid sulfate soils. However, in four out of six acid sulfate soils from widely separated areas of Canada amounts of natrojarosite were dominant or equal to amounts of jarosite.

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