Abstract

Soil clay minerals in recent natural polders react on a human timescale in response to local environmental conditions. With increasing age, the mineral reaction leads to the dissolution of the chlorite component and a composition change of the different illite-smectite mixed-layer minerals (I-S MLMs): i.e. smectite layer content decreases and illite content increases. The process of oxidation, which is proven by magnetic susceptibility to trigger clay mineral reaction, changes the mineralogical composition of the sediment above the redox front. The mineral changes appear to be a non-linear function of time. In natural conditions the process lasts >1000 y. However, anthropoic forcing such as artificial drainage accelerates the oxidation reaction to complete the whole process in a few tens of years.

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