Surface area vs mass - which is most important during mineral weathering in soils?

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Mineral dissolution rate is usually normalised to mineral surface area. It might be expected that the dissolution of finer, high-surface area mineral grain size fractions of soils are more important for release of cations than coarser, low-surface area size fractions. However, this overlooks the relatively greater mass of coarser grain size fractions present in many soils. This paper reports batch experiment measurements of dissolution rates of 2000 - 500, 500 - 250 and 250 - 53 mum grain size fractions from a glacially-derived granitic soil after removal of secondary oxide and organic matter. Surface area- and mass-normalised dissolution rates of the different size fractions vary by a factor of 2 - 3 whereas net contribution of the various grain size fractions to total element release from the soil varies by up to an order of magnitude, with the greater mass of the coarsest fraction contributing the greatest amount of cations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWATER-ROCK INTERACTION, VOLS 1 AND 2
EditorsR Cidu
Place of PublicationLEIDEN
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)90-2651-824-2
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Event10th International Symposium on Water-Rock Interaction - BILLASIMIUS
Duration: 10 Jul 200115 Jul 2001


Conference10th International Symposium on Water-Rock Interaction

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