Chapter 5

Chemical Properties of Soil

(book excerpts)

Chemical properties reflect the influence between soil solution (soil water and nutrients) and exchange sites (clay particles, organic matter); plant health; the nutritional requirements of plant; and levels of soil contaminants and their availability for uptake by plants. Soil chemical properties including pH, base saturation, electrical conductivity, cation exchange capacity, exchangeable calcium, magnesium and potassium, exchangeable aluminum and hydrogen, salinity, sodium adsorption ratio, and organic matter content which impact soil nitrogen supply. These properties affect processes such as nutrient cycling, biologic activity, soil formation, pollutant fate, and erosion.

Click on the following topics for more information on chemical properties of soil.

Topics Within This Chapter:

  • Soil Colloids
  • Types of Soil Colloids
  • Crystalline Silicate Clays
  • Non-Crystalline Silicate Clays
  • Iron and Aluminum Oxides
  • Humus
  • Properties of Colloids
  • Size, Shape, and Surface Area
  • Surface Charge
  • Plasticity
  • Cohesion
  • Swelling and Shrinkage
  • Flocculation
  • Types of Crystalline Silicate Clays
  • 1:1 Clay Minerals
  • 2:1 Clay Minerals
  • 2:1:1 Clay Minerals
  • Cation Exchange Capacity
  • Nature of Cation Exchange
  • Cation Exchange Capacities of Soils
  • Soil Colloids Effect on pH CEC
  • Buffering Capacity
  • Base Saturation
  • Managing Soil CEC
  • Cation Exchange Reactions
  • Principles Governing Cation Exchange Reactions
  • Reversibility
  • Charge Equivalence
  • Ratio Law
  • Anion Effects on Mass Action
  • Cation Selectivity
  • Complementary Cations
  • Saturation Percentage
  • Automated Yeast Cell Counting
  • Anion Exchange Capacity
  • Soil pH