Characteristics of silica-rich pedofeatures in a buried paleosol
Usai, M. R. and Dalrymple, J. B. (2003) Characteristics of silica-rich pedofeatures in a buried paleosol. Catena, 54 (3). pp. 557-571. ISSN 0341-8162
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/s0341-8162(03)00131-0
Whitish and whitish-light brown milky-like textural pedofeatures and impregnations were found in the voids and the matrix of buried paleosols older than 2.7 million years in a site in Sardinia, Italy. The pedofeatures were described and analysed using micromorphology, X-ray diffraction and microprobe techniques, and their spatial distribution correlated with field evidence. The suite of analyses showed that the main components of the pedofeatures were more or less ordered silica phases. As well as forming a matrix cement, these pedofeatures also occurred as coatings and infillings in pores. Significant amounts of alumina and, less, Mg, Ca and Fe were also present in the pedofeatures, possibly in the form of silicate coatings and inclusions/impurities, or alumino-silicates of the adjacent soil matrix. A number of hypotheses are drawn on the possible mechanisms of formation of these silica-rich pedofeatures, including the possibility of prolonged weathering of volcanic materials and the resulting formation of colloids and more or less ordered silica phases, with successive dehydration and progressive ordering of phases during the at least 2.5 million years. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.