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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Soil aggregate stability as affected by clay mineralogy and polyacrylamide addition

item Iliasson, Amrax
item Levy, G.j.
item Skidmore, Edward
item Huang, Chi Hua
item Norton, Lloyd

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/26/2008
Publication Date: 10/5/2008
Publication URL:
Citation: Mamedov, A.I., Levy, G., Skidmore, E.L., Huang, C., Norton, L.D. 2008. Soil aggregate stability as affected by clay mineralogy and polyacrylamide addition. Celebration the International Year of Planet Earth. The Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America - American Society of Agronomy - Crop Science Society of America and Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies (GSA, SSSA-ASA-CSSA, GCAGS) 2008 Joint Annual Meeting Abstracts, October 5-9, 2008, Houston, Texas. 2008 CDROM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The addition of polyacrylamide (PAM) to soil leads to stabilization of existing aggregates and improved bonding between, and aggregation of adjacent soil particles However, the dependence of PAM efficacy as an aggregate stabilizing agent on soil-clay mineralogy has not been studied. Sixteen soil samples with predominantly smectitic, illitic or kaolinitic clay mineralogy having loam or clay texture, were studied. Aggregate stability of non-treated or treated with an anionic high-molecular-weight PAM was determined using the high energy moisture characteristic (HEMC) method using deionized water. In this method, the wetting process of the aggregates is accurately controlled, and the energy of hydration and entrapped air are the main forces responsible for aggregate breakdown. An index of aggregate susceptibility to slaking termed stability ratio (SR), is commonly obtained by quantifying differences in the moisture characteristic curves (at 0-500 mm tension) for fast and slow wetting. In the current study the SR of the PAM- treated aggregates was obtained from the differences in the moisture characteristic curves of the fast wetted PAM- treated aggregates and those of the non-treated aggregates. For the non- treated aggregates the SR ranged from 0.240 to 0.800. Generally, SR increased in the order of smectitic<illitic<mixed mineralogy<kaolinitic soils for these samples. In the PAM-treated aggregates the SR ranged from 5.1 to 1.05. The effectiveness of PAM in improving aggregate stability decreased in the order of smectitic>illitic>mixed mineralogy>kaolinitic samples. The results suggest that the less stable the aggregates the greater the effectiveness of PAM in increasing aggregates stability (i.e., smectitic vs. kaolinitic samples).

Last Modified: 06/26/2017
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