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Evidence of chemical degradation in tropical Ferruginous soils of southern India



Evidence of chemical degradation in tropical Ferruginous soils of southern India



Clay Research 20(1): 31-41



The paper describes ferruginous soils of Jamakhandi series in southern India which are mildly alkaline, calcareous and high in base saturation. These soils have very thick argillic horizon immediately after a thin Ap horizon indicating that these are relict paleosols formed in an earlier humid climate. The silt and clay fractions of these soils indicate the presence of smectite, kaolin and mica minerals. The fine clay fractions of these soils are dominated by smectite of both low and high charge density. Presence of pedogenic carbonate as spongy nodules and cluster of lubinite needles below 40 cm depth indicates their formation in the prevailing semi-arid climate. Supersaturation of the soil solution with calcium carbonate facilitating the formation of lubinite crystals in the lower horizons was favoured by the presence of smectite clay. The formation of pedogenic CaCO3 caused the development of subsoil sodicity in the lower horizons. At present the rate of CaCO3 formation and the sodicity development may not be very alarming. However, it is apprehended that in continuation of the natural degradation process, drainage of the soils will be gradually impaired.

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