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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Dependence of “True” Surface Energy of Soils on Air Entry Pore Size and Chemical Constituents1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 51 No. 1, p. 187-191
    Received: Mar 7, 1986

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  1. A. Hadas2



Stability and strength of soil structure depend on soil constituents and the manner in which they interact with each other. Some constituents, such as CaCO3, organic matter (OM), and Fe oxide act as cementing agents. Soil structure strength dependence on those soil constituents was studied. Apparent and “true” surface energy of a soil was defined as the amount of energy required to produce a new unit of surface area or propagate a crack, respectively. These energy values were determined by modifying Sack's (1946) and Griffith's (1924) theory to data obtained from brittle fracture tests on molded soil samples from 16 soils varying in clay, OM, CaCO3, and Fe2O3 contents. A negative linear relationship between the apparent surface energy and the pore radius at air entry was found. No distinct relationship was found between the “true” surface energy of the soils and the contents of CaCO3 and Fe oxide. An inverse relationship was found between “true” surface energy and cation exchange capacity. Possible new research directions are discussed in view of the data presented.

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