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Micromorphology

Part of the Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series book series (EESS)

Definition and history

Micropedology is a method of studying undisturbed soil‐ and regolith samples with the aid of microscopic and ultramicroscopic techniques in order to identify the different constituents and to determine their mutual relations, in space and time, as far as the latter is possible. This means that the investigations should be carried out on undisturbed (and mostly naturally oriented) soil samples, in contrast to the other analytical methods used in soil science (e.g., mineralogical, chemical and physical analyses) requiring mostly a mixing, crushing, solubilization or fractionation of the samples.

The term micromorphology was originally used to refer to that field of micropedology dealing with fabric analysis only, but soon both were used as synonyms. Micromorphology, as a general term, comprises both the qualitative and the quantitative analysis of the soil; the latter is commonly referred to as micromorphometry.

The publication of W. L. Kubiëna's “Micropedology” (1938...

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Hossner, L.R., Yatsu, E., Young, I.M., Warland, J., Stoops, G. (2008). Micromorphology. In: Chesworth, W. (eds) Encyclopedia of Soil Science. Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-3995-9_355

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