Soils collected in 2004 along two North American continental-scale transects were subjected to geochemical and mineralogical analyses. In previous interpretations of these analyses, data were expressed in weight percent and parts per million, and thus were subject to the effect of the constant-sum phenomenon. In a new approach to the data, this effect was removed by using centered log-ratio transformations to 'open' the mineralogical and geochemical arrays. Multivariate analyses, including principal component and linear discriminant analyses, of the centered log-ratio data reveal the effects of soil-forming processes, including soil parent material, weathering, and soil age, at the continental-scale of the data arrays that were not readily apparent in the more conventionally presented data. Linear discriminant analysis of the data arrays indicates that the majority of the soil samples collected along the transects can be more successfully classified with Level 1 ecological regional-scale classification by the soil geochemistry than soil mineralogy. A primary objective of this study is to discover and describe, in a parsimonious way, geochemical processes that are both independent and inter-dependent and manifested through compositional data including estimates of the elements and corresponding mineralogy. ?? 2010.
Additional publication details
Multivariate analysis of the geochemistry and mineralogy of soils along two continental-scale transects in North America