Research Station Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon ART, CH-8046 Zurich

Soil analysis with X-ray fluorescence spectometry

The aim of this study was to characterize a field of Agroscope Reckenholz research station regarding its soil constituents with X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF) and other analytical methods. In addition, criteria for homogeneity were to be determined in order to assign homogeneous lots for long-term agricultural experiments. In the first part, a method was developed and used to determine the total contents of Fe, Ca, K, P, Si and Al in the soil. In these samples nutrients and other parameters (AAE10-P, -K, -Ca, -Mg extracted with ammonium acetate-EDTA, N-total, pH, carbonate and TOC) were determined as well. In the second part, three groups of parameters for soil homogeneity were determined as a working instrument: The clay-mineral-homogeneity consisting of total Fe, K, P, Al, Mg and Na – all parameters can be determined by XRF alone; the lime/dolomite-homogeneity comprising total-Ca, total-Mg, TIC, pH, AAE10-Ca and AAE10-Mg, as well as the carbon-nutrient-homogeneity with TOC, N-total, AAE10-P and AAE10-K.

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