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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Clay Translocation and Albic Tongue Formation in Two Glossoboralfs of West-Central Wisconsin1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 33 No. 5, p. 768-775
    Received: Feb 26, 1969
    Accepted: Apr 4, 1969

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  1. Richard W. Ranney and
  2. Marvin T. Beatty2



Soil columns from two Typic Glossoboralfs were dissected to separate albic tongues and argillic B horizon material. Tongues and B horizon material have similar coarse/fine (50-20µ/20-2µ) silt ratios in the upper B horizon indicating that tongues could have been formed in place by eluviation of clay from certain zones of the B horizon.

Lower in the B horizon the tongues consistently have different coarse/fine silt ratios than does adjacent B horizon material. Mineralogical analysis of silts gave no indication of differential weathering of quartz, alkali feldspars, or mica which together make up 85 to 90% of the fine silt (20-2µ). The particle-size distribution of silts in the lower albic tongues is taken to indicate that translocation of silts and sands has been involved in the formation of these tongues.

Higher proportions of quartz, feldspars and mica in the coarse clay (2-.2µ) of upper albic tongues indicate that montmorillonite, vermiculite, pedogenic chlorite and kaolinite have been preferentially removed. This, and the mineralogical similarity of fine clay (<0.2µ) between eluvial and illuvial zones, indicate that clay translocation in these soils is accomplished primarily by movement of clay particles in suspension without appreciable dissolution of crystal structures.

Spodic horizons have begun to form in the albic horizons of some Glossoboralfs of the study area and Spodosols are common in coarser parent materials. Processes of illuviation inferred from this investigation, however are greatly different from those generally considered typical of Spodosols.

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