Abstract

The majority of investigations of soil electrical characteristics are concerned with tropical and subtropical regions and hence there is little information about soils from other regions. The present study attempts to discover the most important constituents affecting soil electrical charge characteristics in a temperate zone. The study area is located on southern coastal zones of the Caspian Sea in northern Iran (Guilan province). The soil moisture and temperature regimes of the region determined by means of Newhall software were udic and thermic, respectively. Six representative pedons developed on granite, andesite, basalt, phyllite and limestone as their parent rocks are described and their physicochemical, mineralogical and electrical properties studied. The results indicate that the point of zero charge (PZC) values are small in all samples and smaller at the surface than in subsurface horizons. There is a positive correlation between pH0 (PZC) values, organic carbon percentage and crystalline Fe (Fed) content. The points of zero net charge (ZPNC) values are <2.5 in all the pedons studied, which refers to large amounts of negative charge in these soils. The results also show that the differences in negative charge development in a pH range from 2.5 to 6 were largest for horizons rich in organic C and least for those with significant amounts of layer silicate minerals. Therefore, the most important variable charge component in all of the soils studied is organic matter which controls the negative charge at the soil surface. The permanent charge (бp) of the soils studied is also large and negative, which agrees with the amount of clay and the mineralogy of these soils.

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