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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 2008  |  Volume: 11  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 17 - 25

Effects of Maghnian Bentonite on Physical Properties of Sandy Soils Under Semi-Arid Mediterranean Climate

M. Benkhelifa, M. Belkhodja, Y. Daoud and D. Tessier    

Abstract:

This research has for object to study the influence of clay addition, i.e., Maghnian bentonite, like deposit clay, in the physical properties of sandy materials from Mostaganem plateau (North-West Algeria) submitted to salinity and sodicity. The first result was to show that the clay content changes drastically the physical properties of clay-sand mixtures. Important differences were observed as a function of the sand particle size distribution. At given clay content, the saturated Hydraulic Conductivity (HCs) was lower when the sand size was small and spread. For the coarse sand the salinity was maintained, even for high clay contents, a significant hydraulic conductivity. One of the main characteristics of Maghnia clay is the presence of calcium carbonates in the natural material. In comparison to that of Mostaganem clay of other deposit, it appears less sensitive to sodicity. An important aspect is the initial state of the clay when used in addition to sands, i.e., disturbance, conditions of preparation of sand clay mixtures and presence of associated components such as carbonates. Maghnia clay appeared to be adapted to the improvement of sandy soils, not because its mineralogical characteristics, but for its natural cationic form and obviously the presence of calcite in it.

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