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Book Chapter

NMR Characterization of Natural Organic Matter and Clay-Humic Complexes

By
Robert L. Wershaw
Robert L. Wershaw
U.S. Geological Survey M.S. 408, Federal Center Denver, CO 80225 E-mail: rwershaw@usgs.gov
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Published:
January 01, 2009

Abstract

Soils and sediments are composed of complex mixtures of inorganic and organic components. The organic components of soils (soil organic matter) constitute a carbon pool that is about 2.5 times that of living vegetation, 1.5 times that of surface ocean, and about twice that of the atmosphere (González-Pérez and others, 2004). This carbon pool is particularly important because soil properties such as buffering capacity, metal-binding capacity, stability of aggregates of soil particles, water-holding capacity, and sorption of hydrophobic organic compounds are dependent, to a large extent, on the amount of natural organic matter (NOM) in a soil. All of these properties, with the exception of the last one, are important in controlling soil fertility.

The maintenance of soil fertility is of paramount importance for the survival of human life on our planet. In the rich, industrialized countries of the world soil fertility is maintained by application of chemical fertilizers that are produced using large amounts of fossil fuels. The ready availability of the chemical fertilizers has encouraged farmers to employ intensive agricultural practices such as growing a single crop year after year (monoculture), irrigation, and yearly tillage. Unfortunately, however, intensive agriculture can lead to deterioration of soil structure and aggregation (Pimentel and others, 1995; Tilman, 1999, Bongiovani and Lobartini, 2006).

Mäder and others (2002) showed that farming systems that make use of organic amendments (designated organic farming by Mäder and others, 2002) are much more sustainable than conventional intensive agriculture.

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Contents

Clay Minerals Society Workshop Lectures 16

Carbon Stabilization by Clays in the Environment: Process and Characterization Methods

David A. Laird
David A. Laird
USDA, ARS, National Soil Tilth Laboratory 2110 University Blvd Ames IA 50011-3120 USA
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Javiera Cervini Silva
Javiera Cervini Silva
Instituto de Geografia Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico City
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Yona Chen
Yona Chen
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
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Claire Chenu
Claire Chenu
CNRS-UPMC-INRA-AgroParisTech-ENS-ENPC, Grignon, France
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Françoise Elsass
Françoise Elsass
Centre de Géochimie de la Surface, Strasbourg, France
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Javier M. Gonzalez
Javier M. Gonzalez
USDA, ARS, NAA, AFSRC, Beaver, WV, USA
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Michael H.B. Hayes
Michael H.B. Hayes
University of Limerick, Ireland
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David A. Laird
David A. Laird
USDA, ARS, NSTL, Ames, IA, USA
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Alain Plante
Alain Plante
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA
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Andre J. Simpson
Andre J. Simpson
University of Toronto at Scarborough, Canada
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Guixue Song
Guixue Song
University of Limerick, Ireland
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Jorge Tarcjotzly
Jorge Tarcjotzly
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
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Michael L. Thompson
Michael L. Thompson
Iowa State University, Ames IA, USA
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I. Virto
I. Virto
CNRS-UPMC-INRA-AgroParisTech-ENS-ENPC, Grignon, France
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Robert L. Wershaw
Robert L. Wershaw
U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO, USA
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Clay Minerals Society
ISBN electronic:
9781881208365
Publication date:
January 01, 2009

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