A Microscopic Determination of Apatite and a Study of Phosphorus in Some Nebraska Soil Profiles1
- R. F. Shipp and
- R. P. Matelski2
A microscopic method is described for the determination of apatite mineral frequencies. The technique was developed from further study and application of a method used to detect alkaline earth carbonates in soils. Essentially, the method consists of distributing soil heavy minerals over 2 to 3 drops of 10.7N H2SO4 on a glass slide. Needle-like calcium sulfate crystals develop on the surface of the apatite grains making them easily recognized. The low birefringence of apatite is used as a further identifying characteristic.
A study of three Nebraska soils was made using this technique. Data on the occurrence and vertical distribution of apatite in these soils is presented. A general tendency for the apatite content to increase with depth was noted. This increase is shown to parallel the profile distribution of acid-soluble phosphorus in these soils. There was a close correlation between the total phosphorus content of the sand and coarse silt and the percent of apatite as determined by this method.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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