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Gypsum soils—Their morphology, classification, function, and landscapes

AuthorsCasby-Horton, Susan; Herrero Isern, Juan CSIC ORCID ; Rolong, Nelson A.
KeywordsArid soils
Gypsic horizon
Gypsum solubility
Lenticular crystals
Pedogenic gypsum
Petrogypsic horizon
Issue Date2015
CitationCasby-Horton S, Herrero J, Rolong NA. Gypsum soils—Their morphology, classification, function, and landscapes. Advances in Agronomy 130: 231–290 (2015)
SeriesAdvances in Agronomy
AbstractGypsum soils are both a problem and a puzzle, which is precisely why they deserve attention. Gypseous (high-gypsum) soils generally occupy sparsely populated land with minimal land use intensity in arid and semiarid climates. Gypsum content in agricultural soils results in restricted water and nutrient retention and the potential for dissolution piping, primarily in response to irrigation. The corrosive effects of gypsum soils on concrete, metal, and building materials are also problematic. On the other hand, understanding the genesis and function of gypsiferous (low-gypsum) and gypseous soils is interesting and challenging, and our grasp of processes involved in the formation and behavior of these soils is critical for proper management for agricultural, rangeland, engineering, and construction purposes. The objective of this review was to examine the physical and chemical properties of gypsum and the impacts of these properties in the soil environment. The particular properties that gypsum presence imparts to soils affect soil development, including soil morphology. Accumulations of pedogenic gypsum influence water-holding capacity, nutrient and water availability for plants, root growth, and the standard concepts of soil texture and rupture resistance. Gypsum precipitation is also affected by the presence of more soluble salts. The development of physicochemical models that explain the formation and function of gypsiferous and gypseous soils is necessary if we hope to properly manage and maintain these unusual soils and their landscapes.
Description60 Pags.- 1 Tabl.- 17 Figs. The definitive version is available at: http://www.elsevier.com/books/book-series/advances-in-agronomy
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/bs.agron.2014.10.002
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