Effect of clay minerals and organic matter on the cation exchange capacity of silt fractions

Norman Peinemann, Nilda Mabel Amiotti, Pablo Zalba, Maria Bonita Villamil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The cation exchange capacity (CEC) and specific surface properties were investigated in four particle-size fractions < 50 μm from three loess (one Kastanozem and two Phaeozems), a holocene (Fluvisol) and a basalt soil (Nitisol) before and after destruction of organic matter. Particle-size fractions were separated by sedimentation after chemical and physical dispersion of the soil samples. Illite, amorphous minerals, mixed layers, smectite and kaolinite were the predominant clay minerals. They were detected in all size fractions. The CEC increased with increasing organic matter contents and this effect was more pronounced in coarser fractions. The organic matter content per unit surface area was two or three times larger in coarse silt than in clay, irrespective of the soil type.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-52
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Cation exchange capacity
  • Organic matter
  • Particle-size fractions
  • Specific surface areas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science


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