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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo
Print version ISSN 0100-0683
SANTOS, Jean Cheyson Barros dos et al. Characterization of regosols in the semiarid region of Pernambuco, Brazil. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2012, vol.36, n.3, pp.683-696. ISSN 0100-0683. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-06832012000300001.
Studies on soil characterization in unexplored regions, besides the generation of data banks for the soil classes of the country, also produce scientific information about soil properties, important for the development of good management practices and sustainable land use. One of the main soil classes in the semiarid region of Pernambuco State, the Regosols, cover about 27 % of the state area, and are used mainly for family agriculture. Due to different geological and climatic aspects Regosols with different chemical, physical and mineralogical properties are found in Pernambuco, which were characterized for the semiarid region of the State. Five Regosol profiles were selected in different regions of the State (P1=São Caetano; P2=Lagoa do Ouro; P3=Caetés; P4= São João; P5=Parnamirim). The soils were morphologically characterized and samples collected from all horizons and the bedrock. Routine physical and chemical analyses were carried out for soil classification of all samples and mineralogical analyses of the coarse fractions (gravel and sand) by optical microscopy and of the silt and clay fractions by X ray diffraction (XRD), as well as petrographic analyses of the rock samples. The results showed similarities between the soils, with a low degree of pedogenetic development, varying from medium to very deep, with the horizon sequence A-AC-C-Cr and a sandy to sandy loam texture. In the deeper layers of two profiles (P1 and P5), a solodic character was observed. Organic matter and available phosphorus content were low in all studied soils. Despite the low levels of exchangeable cations, all soil profiles showed high base saturation. The mineralogical composition of gravel, sand and silt fractions consisted, essentially, of quartz, followed by feldspars and mica, supporting the results of the petrographic analysis of the bedrock. Kaolinite was the main clay mineral in all studied profiles and horizons, indicating an important monosialitization process in autochthonous soils of a typical semiarid region. In soil profile P2, at a lower landscape position, smectite minerals were observed, with mixing phases of montmorillonite, beidelite or nontronite, indentified by the Greene-Kelly test in the DRX analysis.
Keywords : pedogenesis; morphology; mineralogy; kaolinite.