You are here

Gypsum Polymorphism in the Desert Environment of Abu Dhabi Emirate

Gypsum (CaSO4.2H2O) is a common mineral in semi-arid and arid environments. The quantity of gypsum and location in the soil profile determines soil taxonomic class. The gypsum mineral has several varieties that differ by shapes “polymorphism” of the crystal and their textural arrangements. These crystals have been of great interest due to their effect on soil properties. Gypseous soils have been the focus of many studies, but those studies mostly concentrate on their mapping, distribution and management. Very few studies have presented gypsum morphologies in arid environment. The present study aims at describing gypsum polymorphism in the desert environment of Abu Dhabi Emirate. Gypsum crystals were described in the field as they exist, and also hand specimen of gypsum crystals were collected and photographed. Gypsum soils found in the desert environment of Abu Dhabi Emirate were classified, according to the USDA Soil Taxonomy, under the following great group levels: Haplogypsids, Petrogypsids and Calcigypsids. The formation of gypsum in these soils could be attributed to geological or pedogenic processes. The geological gypsum occurs in many shapes; however, pedogenic gypsum does not retain the form of geologic gypsum in soil environment. The common morphological forms of gypsum found in Abu Dhabi Emirate are lenticular, euhedral, rosettes, fibrous, tubular, fan, massive, exfoliated, honey comb or porous, powdery, bottlebrush, and rock outcrop. These forms are developing different internal and external soil features. Each of these forms is fully described in this paper.

Shabbir Ahmad Shahid, Mahmoud Ali Abdelfattah
Publication type: 
Scientific Paper
Publication Source: 
European Journal of Scientific Research
Page Number: 
ISSN 1450-216X

Related scientific papers