Ferrolysis, a soil-forming process in hydromorphic conditions

R. Brinkman

    Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


    A hypothesis was proposed explaining clay decomposition and interlayering in acid, seasonally wet soils, under the influence of the periodic reduction and oxidation of iron. This process, termed ferrolysis, is as follows. In the wet season, reduction of ferric oxides produces dissolved ferrous iron , which displaces and mobilizes exchangeable bases. The bases (and dissolved ferrous iron) are partially removed by leaching. In the dry season, oxidation of exchangeable ferrous iron produces ferric oxides and exchangeable hydrogen leading to partial decomposition of the clay and release of aluminium and silica. Aluminium interlayers with trapped ferrous iron are formed in 2:1 clays by partial neutralization of exchangeable aluminium together with reduction of ferric oxides in the wet season; thus the cation exchange capacity decreases further.<p/>The implications of ferrolysis were tested by morphological, chemical and mineralogical analysis of several acid, seasonally wet soils from South-east Asia and different parts of Europe. The effects of various other processes, e.g. cheluviation and clay translocation, were also identified in some of these profiles.<p/>Until now, ferrolysis was not clearly distinguished from cheluviation (podzolization sensu stricto), clay translocation and desilication. Therefore, criteria are given to differentiate between the effects of these processes.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • Pons, L.J., Promotor
    • Bolt, G.H., Co-promotor, External person
    Award date20 Apr 1979
    Place of PublicationWageningen
    Print ISBNs9789022006993
    Publication statusPublished - 1979


    • bangladesh
    • gley soils
    • horizons
    • hydromorphic soils
    • land evaluation
    • paddy soils
    • pseudogleyed soils
    • pseudogleys
    • soil degradation
    • soil structure
    • soil suitability
    • soil surveys
    • thailand
    • cum laude


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