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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 51 No. 1, p. 247-251
    Received: Nov 19, 1985

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Significance of Sulfide Oxidation in Soil Salinization in Southeastern Saskatchewan, Canada1

  1. A. R. Mermut and
  2. M. A. Arshad2



Several deep soil columns in the Weyburn area, Saskatchewan, Canada, show features related to S2- oxidation, including the presence of high amounts of SO2-4 salts and low pH. A soil 4-km west of Cedoux that had 1-m layer of till underlain by Cretaceous marine shale was selected to characterize these features. X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscope, and chemical techniques confirmed the presence of well-developed crystals of natrojarosite between the 100- to 600-cm depth, and sulfides below 550 cm. Sulfate was the predominant water-soluble anion, with Na+ followed by Mg2+ and Ca2+ as major cations. Accumulation of sulfate in the Cedoux soil and similar soils in the area was attributed to sulfide oxidation and hydrolysis of natrojarosite. Sulfate salts probably are still produced at present. Due to their mobility and recycling in the soils and Cretaceous marine shale it was difficult to bring to light the genesis of salts in Saskatchewan.

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