The genesis of cohesive horizons in some soils is not well known yet and, in many cases, it is conflicting. The purpose of this study was to evaluate physical, chemical and mineralogical mechanisms that cause hardening in soils with cohesive horizons, fragipan and duripan in Brazilian Coastal Plain soils. Soil samples of two toposequences were sampled and the taxonomic classes of the soils were identified as Argisolic Eutrophic Red Latosol, Latosolic Dystrophic Yellow Argisol for the first toposequence, and Abruptic Dystrophic Yellow Argisol, Dystrophic Typic Yellow Argisol and Duric Orthic Carbic Spodosol, for the second sequence. The chemical analysis performed were Fe, Si, and Al extraction with sodium dithionite-citrate-bicarbonate (DCB) and ammonium oxalate. The clay fraction mineralogy was evaluated by X-ray diffraction. Soils with cohesive horizons presented very low Fe, Si, and Al contents extracted with both DCB and oxalate. Nevertheless, soil with fragipan and duripan showed high Si and Al content extracted with oxalate, indicating their role as cementing agents. The Argisol clay fraction is predominantly kaolinitic, and gibbsite was only found in the Bt1, Bt2and Bw horizons of the Latosolic Yellow Argisol. Gibbsite was found in soils with fragipan and duripan (Duric Orthic Carbic Spodosol), and despite being considered a disorganizing agent of kaolinite adjustment, the hardpan characteristics were maintained. Thus, the hardening mechanisms of these soils seem different for cohesive, fragipan and duripan horizons.
Dos Santos Moreau, A. M. S., Da Costa, L. M., Ker, J. C., & Gomes, F. H. (2006). Genesis of hardened horizons, fragipan and duripan in soils of the coastal tablelands of south bahia. Revista Brasileira de Ciencia Do Solo. Revista Brasileira de Ciencia do Solo. https://doi.org/10.1590/s0100-06832006000600011