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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 41 No. 3, p. 641-645
    Received: Mar 29, 1976
    Accepted: Dec 14, 1976

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Surface Morphology of Quartz and Age of Soils1

  1. Lowell A. Douglas and
  2. David W. Platt2



The surface morphology of quartz sand grains from soils developed from Wisconsin, Illinoian, and Kansan age glacial material and on residual parent materials were studied using scanning electron microscopy. Both solution and precipitation surfaces were observed. Quartz surfaces showed an amount of chemical alteration proportional to the water holding capacity and the age of the parent material. More alteration was found in the A horizons than in the B horizons of the youngest soils studied, while little difference between A and B horizons of very old soils was observed. The surface morphology of quartz sand grains may be used to estimate the age of a soil relative to the glacial periods within the Quaternary.

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