Encyclopedia of Soil Science

2008 Edition
| Editors: Ward Chesworth

Carbonates

  • Ward Chesworth
  • Marta Camps Arbestain
  • Felipe Macías
  • Otto Spaargaren
  • Otto Spaargaren
  • Y. Mualem
  • H. J. Morel‐Seytoux
  • William R. Horwath
  • G. Almendros
  • Ward Chesworth
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-3995-9_90
The essential structural unit of the carbonates is the (CO 3) 2– group. Deer et al. ( 1992) state that there are about 60 known carbonates in nature though only one, calcite, commonly forms in soil. Dolomite is the second most common in soils, though it is always inherited rather than neoformed. The only other carbonate likely to be encountered in the soil environment is siderite, which forms in hydromorphic environments. Basic properties of these three carbonates are shown in Table C6. All three carbonates have high birefringence, and show the phenomenon of twinkling in thin section. This is strongest in the case of calcite.
Table C6

The commonest carbonates in soil

Name

Formula

Crystal system

Effervescence with dilute HCl

Stain color

 

Calcite

CaCO 3

Trigonal

Vigorous

Pink to red-brown with Alizarin Red S

 

Dolomite

CaMg(CO 3) 2

Trigonal

Slow in the cold

Very pale blue with K ferricyanide

 

Siderite

FeCO 3

Trigonal

Unreactive in the cold

Deep blue with K ferricyanide

 
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Bibliography

  1. Brookings, D.G., 1988. Eh–pH Diagrams for Geochemistry. New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Deer, W.A., Howie, R.A., and Zussman, J., 1992. An introduction to the Rock Forming Minerals. Harlow, UK: Longmans. 696 pp.Google Scholar
  3. Shulman, D., and Chesworth, W., 1985. Calcium carbonate solubility in the C horizon of a Southern Ontario, Canada, luvisol. Chem. Geol., 51: 115–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ward Chesworth
  • Marta Camps Arbestain
  • Felipe Macías
  • Otto Spaargaren
  • Otto Spaargaren
  • Y. Mualem
  • H. J. Morel‐Seytoux
  • William R. Horwath
  • G. Almendros
  • Ward Chesworth

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