Water retention properties of the clay in soils developed on clayey sediments: significance of parent material and soil history - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles European Journal of Soil Science Year : 2000

Water retention properties of the clay in soils developed on clayey sediments: significance of parent material and soil history

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Abstract

We have investigated the water retention properties of clayey subsoil horizons according to the variation of clay characteristics. The horizons studied developed on a large range of age and facies of calcareous or calcium-saturated clayey sediments. The water retention properties were studied from −10 hPa to −15 000 hPa water potential using small clods collected in winter when swelling is at a maximum and water content close to field capacity. The specific water content and volume of the clods at field conditions, their specific volume at −15 000 hPa water potential, the clay content, the organic carbon content, the cation exchange capacity, the N2-BET surface area and calcareous content were measured. The clay fabric, which is the spatial distribution of the elementary clay particles, was quantified when the soil was close to field capacity and we could attribute the whole pore volume to the porosity of the clay fabric. Our results show that the water retention properties of the clay vary greatly from one soil to another with respect to the clay fabric. The variation of the latter depends on the cation exchange capacity, the size of elementary particles and hydric stress history of the clay. We show that the water retention properties of the studied clayey soils vary according to the clay content and fabric, the latter being related either to parent material fabric or to both the hydric history of the soil and size of the elementary clay particles.
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Dates and versions

hal-00091216 , version 1 (18-02-2010)

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Ary Bruand, D. Tessier. Water retention properties of the clay in soils developed on clayey sediments: significance of parent material and soil history. European Journal of Soil Science, 2000, 51, pp.679-688. ⟨10.1046/j.1365-2389.2000.00338.x⟩. ⟨hal-00091216⟩
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