Abstract

Three soil profiles classed as brown forest soils on schistose parent material, in close proximity but under different land uses, have been studied. The profile under 50 year-old Sitka spruce trees is the most acidic, the second profile under rough grassland is less acidic, and the third profile in an arable field which has been fertilized is the least acidic. The clay fractions (<2 μm) of all three profiles are very similar. However, computer simulations of the X-ray diffraction patterns of clay phases using a modified version of NEWMOD revealed two possible weathering trends: (1) an increasing proportion of vermiculite in interstratified mica-vermiculite in the upper horizons of the arable and forested soils; (2) formation of high-charge corrensite by weathering of chlorite in all three profiles but least pronounced in the arable soil. The differences in clay mineralogy amongst the profiles are minor, but these two different weathering trends may be due to the effects of different land use.

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