Clays and Clay Minerals

, Volume 67, Issue 3, pp 217–227 | Cite as

Iron Mineralogy and Magnetic Susceptibility of Soils Developed on Various Rocks in Western Iran

  • Shamsollah AyoubiEmail author
  • Vali Adman


The characterization of magnetic minerals and the relationship of these minerals to the magnetic susceptibility of soils that have developed on various parent materials can provide valuable information to various disciplines, such as soil evolution and environmental science. The aim of the study reported here was to investigate variations in the magnetic susceptibility (χ) of soils in western Iran due to differences in lithology and to examine the relationship of χ to ferrimagnetic minerals. Eighty samples were collected from eight parent materials taken from both intact rocks and associated soils. The soil parent materials included a range of igneous and sedimentary rocks, such as ultrabasic rocks (Eocene), basalt (Eocene), andesite (Eocene), limestone (Permian), shale (Cretaceous), marl (Cretaceous), and the Qom formation (partially consolidated fine evaporative materials, early Miocene). The 80 samples were analyzed for χ using a dual-frequency magnetic sensor and for mineralogy using X-ray diffraction (XRD). The highest χ values were found in the ultrabasic rocks and associated soils, while the lowest χ values were observed in the limestone rocks and associated soils. The pedogenic processes significantly enhanced the χ values of soils developed on the sedimentary rocks due to the formation of ferrimagnetic minerals. In contrast, χ values decreased as a result of pedogenic processes in soils developed on igneous rocks due to the dilution effects of diamagnetic materials, such as halite, calcite, phyllosilicates, and organic matter. The significant positive correlation between the XRD peak intensity of the maghemite/magnetite particles and χ values confirmed that χ values in soils are largely controlled by the distribution and content of ferrimagnetic minerals. These results show that χ measurements can be used to quantify low concentrations of ferrimagnetic minerals in the soils of semiarid regions.


Ferrimagnetic minerals Maghemite Magnetic susceptibility Soil development X-ray diffraction 



The authors greatly appreciated the financial support of Isfahan University of Technology.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© The Clay Minerals Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Soil Science, College of AgricultureIsfahan University of TechnologyIsfahanIran

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