Iron Redistribution in Three Boralfs (Gray Luvisols) of Saskatchewan1
- M. C. D. Santos,
- R. J. St. Arnaud and
- D. W. Anderson2
The transformation and translocation of Fe in three Boralfs (Gray Luvisols)3 were studied in relation to the Fe contained within silicate minerals and that existing in oxide forms. Quantitative evaluations of the Fe redistribution using a quartz index technique provided conclusive evidence that losses of Fe from E horizons and gains in Bt horizons are largely accounted for by the translocation of silicate-Fe as a component of fine clays. The weathering of coarse clay to fine clay was documented; the fine clay fraction remained relatively unaffected. Some dissolution and movement of Fe in solution was also evident, particularly in the two profiles showing evidence of restricted drainage and periodic reduction. Detailed analyses of one of the soils studied indicated an 11% loss of total clay from the solum, involving a 16% loss of total Fe and a 19% loss of silicate-Fe from the clay fractions. Most of the Fe lost from the clay was recovered in glaebules of sand and silt size, both as reprecipitated oxides and as occluded clay particles. The actual loss of clay from the solum was only about one-half of the 11% loss indicated from particle size distribution values alone.
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