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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 25 No. 2, p. 94-95
    Received: May 13, 1960
    Accepted: June 7, 1960

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Sulfur Acidity in South Carolina Tidal Marsh Soils1

  1. John F. Fleming and
  2. L. T. Alexander2



Some soils of the South Carolina tidal marsh area develop high acidity when drained. On soil samples from these areas pH values were lowered as much as 3 units on drying. Final values often ranged from pH 3.0 to 2.0 with an occasional value below pH 2.0. These soils contain up to 5.5% total sulfur.

This investigation indicates that the sulfur acidity problem in these soils is similar to the problem in soils called Katteklei (cat's clay) in Holland and by various other names throughout the world. It is postulated that sulfur from sea water was reduced forming sulfides which oxidize to sulfate on exposure to air-drying. If there are not enough alkaline earth carbonates, high acidity results.

Field identification can sometimes be made by the smell of H2S from the disturbed soil, but often it is necessary to determine pH values before and after drying. Total sulfur percentage is also indicative.

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