African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6688

Full Length Research Paper

Mineralogy and aggregate stability of soils in the arid region of Southeastern Iran

A. H. Moghimi1*, J. Hamdan1, J. Shamshuddin1, A. W. Samsuri1and A. Abtahi2
1Department of Land Resource Management, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang,  Selangor, Malaysia. 2Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 22 August 2011
  •  Published: 19 March 2012

Abstract

The stability of arid soils can be affected by their chemical and mineralogical properties. A study was 
conducted to investigate the influence of soil chemical and mineralogical properties on soil stability 
indices in the Shamil-Ashkara Catchment area of Iran. Eight soil profiles were dug and all the soils were 
classified as Entisols and Aridisols. These soils are calcareous in nature with high amounts of basic 
cations. There was a significant positive correlation between water-stable aggregates (WSA) and 
organic carbon (OC), exchangeable Ca2+ and kaolinite contents with r-values of 0.70, 0.45, and 0.62, 
respectively. Soil pH affects stability indices the most as indicated by the highest significant correlation 
between pH and water-dispersible clay (WDC) (r = 0. 87). Among the minerals present, palygorskite 
significantly influences the WSA (r = -0.46) and WDC (r = 0.68) the most, while chlorite has the least 
significant effect. The results indicated that the significant positive factors affecting WDC are in the 
order of: pH > Fe2O3 > CEC > palygorskite > Na+
> SAR > Mg2+ and the positive factors affecting WSA 
are: OC > kaolinite > Ca2+
, respectively.
Key words: Mineralogical properties, aggregate stability, arid region soils, soil properties