Quantitative mineralogy correlates with major-, minor- and trace-element chemistry for 387 samples of A-horizon and deeper soils collected from east-west and north-south transects across the USA and Canada, where the deeper soils were collected beneath the A-horizon samples. Concentrations of the major elements correlate with specific mineral phases. Minor- and trace-element concentrations correlate with the same phases as the major elements with which they share similar geochemical behavior. Concentrations of quartz and feldspar correlate with precipitation trends east of the Rocky Mountains, and are independent of the underlying rock type and age, indicating that the weathering of soils in this region may have reached a steady-state mineralogy. Other trends in mineralogy relate to physiographic province. The combination of quantitative mineralogy and chemical analysis yields a much richer portrait of soils than can be gained from chemistry alone, because the origins of chemical trends and the chemical availability of specific elements are related to mineralogy.
Additional publication details
Mineralogy of soils from two continental-scale transects across the United States and Canada and its relation to soil geochemistry and climate