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Mineralogical composition of the clay fraction of soils derived from granitoids of the Sudetes and Fore-Sudetic Block, southwest Poland

Authors

  • J. Weber,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Soil Science and Environmental Protection, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Grunwaldzka 53, 50-357 Wroclaw, Poland
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  • R. Tyszka,

    1. Institute of Soil Science and Environmental Protection, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Grunwaldzka 53, 50-357 Wroclaw, Poland
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  • A. Kocowicz,

    1. Institute of Soil Science and Environmental Protection, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Grunwaldzka 53, 50-357 Wroclaw, Poland
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  • J. Szadorski,

    1. Institute of Soil Science and Environmental Protection, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Grunwaldzka 53, 50-357 Wroclaw, Poland
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  • M. Debicka,

    1. Institute of Soil Science and Environmental Protection, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Grunwaldzka 53, 50-357 Wroclaw, Poland
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  • E. Jamroz

    1. Institute of Soil Science and Environmental Protection, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Grunwaldzka 53, 50-357 Wroclaw, Poland
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J. Weber. E-mail: jerzy.weber@up.wroc.pl

Abstract

Parent rock strongly affects the properties of the derived soil, especially in the case of shallow soils derived from igneous rocks. Although there are several papers dealing with the subject, no research has been conducted to compare the range of soils derived from different granitoids, varying gradually in mineralogical composition (plagioclase to alkali feldspar ratio) and in their susceptibility to weathering processes. Therefore, clay mineralogy and properties of soils derived from tonalites, granodiorites, granites and leucogranites (alkali feldspar granites), located in very similar climatic conditions in central Europe and with similar topography and vegetation, were analysed. To determine how the parent rock influences the soil material, the physico-chemical properties, chemical composition and mineralogy of the upper soil horizons, weathered material and solid plutonic rock were studied. Results obtained indicated that the type of granitoid parent rock does not affect soil properties such as pH, acidity, base saturation and organic carbon content, which are mainly influenced by climatic factors. The study of clay minerals showed that the clay fraction of soil material consisted of different amounts of illite, kaolinite and vermiculite. Illite and/or kaolinite dominate in pedons derived from leucogranite, granite and granodiorite, while vermiculite predominates in tonalite-derived soils. On the other hand, soils derived from leucogranite, granite and granodiorite revealed the presence of vermiculite in the deeper horizons, while A horizons had less or none of this mineral. This indicates that in the conditions of the temperate climate of Lower Silesia, southwest Poland, transformation of vermiculite into illite occurred.

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