Nature of the clay-cation bond affects soil structure as verified by X-ray computed tomography

Article


Marchuk, Alla, Rengasamy, Pichu, McNeill, Ann and Kumar, Anupama. 2012. "Nature of the clay-cation bond affects soil structure as verified by X-ray computed tomography." Soil Research. 50 (8), pp. 638-644. https://doi.org/10.1071/SR12276
Article Title

Nature of the clay-cation bond affects soil structure as verified by X-ray computed tomography

ERA Journal ID5248
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsMarchuk, Alla (Author), Rengasamy, Pichu (Author), McNeill, Ann (Author) and Kumar, Anupama (Author)
Journal TitleSoil Research
Journal Citation50 (8), pp. 638-644
Number of Pages7
Year2012
PublisherCSIRO Publishing
Place of PublicationMelbourne, Australia
ISSN0004-9573
1446-568X
1838-675X
1838-6768
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1071/SR12276
Abstract

Non-destructive X-ray computed tomography (μCT) scanning was used to characterise changes in pore architecture as influenced by the proportion of cations (Na, K, Mg, or Ca) bonded to soil particles. These observed changes were correlated with measured saturated hydraulic conductivity, clay dispersion, and zeta potential, as well as cation ratio of structural stability (CROSS) and exchangeable cation ratio. Pore architectural parameters such as total porosity, closed porosity, and pore connectivity, as characterised from μCT scans, were influenced by the valence of the cation and the extent it dominated in the soil. Soils with a dominance of Ca or Mg exhibited a well-developed pore structure and pore interconnectedness, whereas in soil dominated by Na or K there were a large number of isolated pore clusters surrounded by solid matrix where the pores were filled with dispersed clay particles. Saturated hydraulic conductivities of cationic soils dominated by a single cation were dependent on the observed pore structural parameters, and were significantly correlated with active porosity (R2≤0.76) and pore connectivity (R2≤0.97). Hydraulic conductivity of cation-treated soils decreased in the order Ca>Mg>K>Na, while clay dispersion, as measured by turbidity and the negative charge of the dispersed clays from these soils, measured as zeta potential, decreased in the order Na>K>Mg>Ca. The results of the study confirm that structural changes during soil-water interaction depend on the ionicity of clay-cation bonding. All of the structural parameters studied were highly correlated with the ionicity indices of dominant cations. The degree of ionicity of an individual cation also explains the different effects caused by cations within a monovalent or divalent category. While sodium adsorption ratio as a measure of soil structural stability is only applicable to sodium-dominant soils, CROSS derived from the ionicity of clay-cation bonds is better suited to soils containing multiple cations in various proportions.

Keywordsarchitectural parameters; cation ratio; clay dispersion; clay particles; exchangeable cation; ionicities; isolated pores; multiple cations; negative charge; non destructive; pore architecture; pore connectivity; pore structural parameters; saturated hydraulic conductivity; sodium adsorption ratio; soil particles; soil structural stability; soil-water interaction; solid matrixes; structural change; structural parameter; structural stabilities; total porosity; x-ray computed tomography
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020410604. Soil chemistry and soil carbon sequestration (excl. carbon sequestration science)
410605. Soil physics
460306. Image processing
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Adelaide
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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