The solubility of gypsum in calcareous soils
Al-Barrak, K. and Rowell, D. L. (2006) The solubility of gypsum in calcareous soils. Geoderma, 136 (3-4). pp. 830-837. ISSN 0016-7061
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2006.06.011
Three gypsiferous-calcareous soils from the Al-Hassa Oasis in Saudi Arabia were examined to determine the conditions under which dissolution of gypsum could be hindered by the formation of coatings of calcite during leaching. Batch extraction with water of a sandy clay loam, a sandy clay and a sandy loam containing 40, 26 and 5% gypsum and 14, 12 and 13% calcite respectively was followed by chemical analysis of the extracts, SEM examination and XRD and EDX microprobe analysis. Extraction in closed centrifuge tubes for I h or 5 h showed that initially gypsum dissolved to give solutions near to equilibrium but then in the sandy clay loam, between one quarter and one third of the gypsum could not dissolve. In the sandy clay about one fifth of the gypsum could not dissolve with none remaining in the sandy loam. All the extracts were close to equilibrium with calcite. SEM and EDX examination showed that coatings of calcite had formed on the gypsum particles. The sandy clay loam was also extracted using an open system in which either air or air +1% CO2 was bubbled through the suspensions for 1 h with stirring. The gypsum dissolved more rapidly and all of the gypsum dissolved. Thus, where the rate of dissolution of gypsum was rapid, calcite did not manage to cover the gypsum surfaces probably because the surface was being continuously removed. Slower leaching conditions in the field are likely to be conducive to the formation of coatings and less dissolution of gypsum. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.