An integrated chemical and micromorphological investigation of humic substances in three podzolized soils of the Netherlands.


  • J. Drozd
  • A. Jongerius
  • S. Kowalinski



The humic substances in a 'Holt' leptic podzol, a 'Haar' humic podzol and a 'Veld' gleyic podzol from the Netherlands were analysed chemically and micromorphologically. The absorption spectra of Na-humates in visible light and infrared spectra were determined for the humic acids. The translocation and distribution of the principal humus compounds occurred by mechanical illuviation in the 'Holt' podzol, and by translocation in solution in the 'Haar' podzol and the 'Veld' podzol. The micromorphological images were closely correlated with the chemical composition of the humic substances. Illuviation cutans occurring in the B horizons of the 'Haar' podzol and the 'Veld' podzol appeared to consist mainly of fulvic acids. The dark humus micro-aggregates characteristic of the 'Haar' podzol and the Ap horizon of the 'Veld' podzol were composed mainly of bitumens, humins and humic acids of high molecular weight, while the brown micro-aggregates of the 'Holt' podzol and the lower horizons of the 'Veld' podzol consisted mainly of fulvic acids and humic acids of low molecular weight. The stability of micro-aggregates was correlated with their composition. (Abstract retrieved from CAB Abstracts by CABI’s permission)