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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 49 No. 2, p. 409-414
    Received: June 14, 1984



Differentiation of Lithologically Similar Soil Parent Materials1

  1. L. D. Norton and
  2. G. F. Hall2



Differentiation of soil parent materials or demonstrating parent material uniformity is of prime importance in many soil genesis studies. It is necessary in order to determine whether observed differences in morphological, physical, chemical, or mineralogical parameters are the result of genetic processes or to differences inherited from the materials. Often differences in soil parent materials are not clear, especially when mixing or extensive weathering has occurred. Therefore, a method to help sort out such differences or uniformities would be a useful tool. In this study, discriminant analysis was utilized along with other related statistical methods to determine if glacially derived loess, siltstone residua, and lacustrine silts could be differentiated effectively. Elemental contents of the 5 to 50µm fraction of the materials were found to be more diagnostic in differentiation than textural or mineralogical parameters. Using the Zr, Ti, and K contents, these lithologically similar, but genetically different materials could be differentiated with significant differences > 0.01 level.

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