Soil Formation pp 183-202 | Cite as

Textural Differentiation


Textural differences between parent material, topsoil, and subsoil are common in soils of virtually all climates. Sometimes, such differences are inherited from the substrate (e.g., textural variations in sediments). Frequently, however, the differences are due to soil forming processes. Textural differentiation leads to topsoils and subsoils that are either finer, or coarser than the parent material. At least eight processes can result in textural differentiation:
  1. 1.

    physical and chemical weathering of parent material,

  2. 2.

    vertical transport of fine fractions by biological activity,

  3. 3.

    eluviation and illuviation of clay suspended in soil water,

  4. 4.

    superficial removal of clay by erosion without illuviation,

  5. 5.

    superficial removal of clay due to tillage in wetland rice agriculture (‘puddling’),

  6. 6.

    clay formation in the subsoil,

  7. 7.

    weathering of clay,

  8. 8.

    vertical movement of soil (matrix) material.



Fulvic Acid Clay Formation Fine Clay Illuvial Horizon Physical Weathering 


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

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