When the earth was forming, several different rocks were created. Inside of these rocks, there are a lot of different minerals. As these rocks break down, some of these minerals break down and form soils. Soils are originally from rocks, and their chemical and physical properties mimic these rocks. Because these minerals are small, they dominate the clay portion of soil. This characterization of soil minerals determine the soil chemical properties, and how fertile it will be. But the overall aim of this course is to introduce you to the basic concepts of soil and clay mineralogy. In this course, you will be able to apply the principles learned in the class to solve mineralogy-related problems or to develop applications in environmental, agricultural, engineering, and geological areas, and understand the principles of common soil mineral analysis methods and instruments.
The purpose of the course is to take you through the basic principles in soil and clay mineralogy. However, the aim of the course, an introductory teaching to assist you in better understanding of the basic concepts and processes of soil and clay mineralogy as it relates to agriculture, environment, geology and toxicology. While, the aim of the course will be achieved by learning the mineralogy of soil minerals and clay, understanding the composition of soil solid phase and learning the various methods of soil mineral analysis. At the end of the course, you should be able to identify and quantify common minerals in soils, clays, and sediments, understand the principles of common soil mineral analysis methods and instruments, know the advantages and limitations of each method and instrument and be able to design mineralogy experiments that are tailored to your specific research objectives. The students should be able to understand and interpret mineral composition and its role in nutrient availability and structural stability. 1. Concept and significance, 2. Chemical and structural classification of soil minerals, 3. Carbonate, sulphate, sulphide and phosphate minerals, 4. Oxides and hydroxide of Al, Fe and Mn, 5. Phyllosilicate in soils: structure & morphological characteristics, 6. Kaolin, halloysite and serpentine minerals, 7. Allophane and imogolite, 8. Micas: structures, weathering and effect on K availability, 9. Vermiculite: structure and properties in relation to K/NH4, 10. Smectites: structure and properties in relation to CEC, 11. Chlorites and Inter-stratification in layer silicates, 12. Tectosilicates: feldspar, quartz and zeolite, 13. Clay mineral economy of Pakistan, 14. Impacts of soil minerals composition on environment. BOOKS RECOMMENDED: 1. Akhtar, M.S. 2001. Soil mineralogy. In: Bashir, E. and R. Bantel (Eds.). Soil Science. National Book Foundation, Islamabad, Pakistan, 2. Brindley, G.W. and G. Brown. 1984 Crystal Structures of Clay Minerals and their X-ray Identification. Mineralogical Soc. Monograph No.5. London, U.K, 3. Dixon, J.B. and S.B. Weed (Eds.), 1989. Minerals in Soil Environment. 2nd Ed., SSSA. Madison, WI, USA, 4. Dixon, J.B. and D.G. Schulze. 2002. Soil Mineralogy with Environmental Applications. Soil Science Society of America, Madison, WI, USA,