Authored by: Randal J. Southard , Steven G. Driese , Lee C. Nordt

Handbook of Soil Sciences Properties and Processes

Print publication date:  November  2011
Online publication date:  November  2011

Print ISBN: 9781439803059
eBook ISBN: 9781439803066
Adobe ISBN:


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Vertisols are clayey soils that exhibit significant volume change due to shrink and swell processes as the soil dries and wets. Most Vertisols have smectitic mineralogy, but Vertisols with mixed or kaolinitic mineralogy also occur. The intrinsic shrink/swell behavior is the dominant soil-forming process of Vertisols and results in significant close-range spatial and temporal variability of soil properties, possibly more so than in any other soil order. As a result, Vertisols are often difficult to manage for agricultural, natural resource, and engineering applications. A substantial body of information about Vertisols exists in the literature, including summaries (e.g., Coulombe et al., 2000; Blokhuis, 2002), and more in-depth discussions about specific aspects of Vertisols (e.g.,Ahmad, 1983; Probert et al., 1987; Wilding and Puentes, 1988;Kimble, 1991; Ahmad and Mermut, 1996; Coulombe et al., 1996b).

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