X-ray Diffraction Measurement of the Quartz Content of Clay and Silt Fractions in Soils

M. Hardy
INRA, Centre de Recherches d'Orléans, Service d'Etude des Sols et de la Carte Pédologique de France, 45160 Ardon, France

Abstract: An XRD method for measurement of quartz content using ZnO as the internal standard was tested on different particle sizes between 0 and 20 µm. Calibration curves showed a good correlation coefficient for particle-size fractions up to 20 µm; the slope increased for the fractions from 0·7 to 5 µm and was relatively constant for coarser particle sizes. Fine quartz fractions were etched with hydrofluoric acid to remove the surface layer damaged during dry grinding. The use of such etched quartz increased the slopes of the calibration curves for small particle-size fractions and approximated the natural fine quartz fraction much better than the original dry-ground material. The mean of six measurements gave good accuracy provided that the slope of the calibration curve was adjusted for the particular particle-size fraction. This method was used on 0–2 µm, 0–0·2µm and 0·2–2 µm fractions of French silty soils and the results are in agreement with the data from chemical analysis and with the mineralogical interpretation.

Clay Minerals; March 1992 v. 27; no. 1; p. 47-55; DOI: 10.1180/claymin.1992.027.1.05
© 1992, The Mineralogical Society
Mineralogical Society (www.minersoc.org)