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IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 Vineyards and clay minerals: multi-technique analytical approach and correlations with soil properties

Vineyards and clay minerals: multi-technique analytical approach and correlations with soil properties


Purpose of this research is to quantitatively assess the mineral component of vineyard soils, with particular attention to the mineralogical analysis of clays, which represent an element of high importance in the vineyard culture as well as in general agriculture. An X-ray diffraction (XRD) / thermogravimetric (TG) multi-technique analytical approach was developed, tested on soil samples taken from vineyards around the world. This codified analytical procedure was necessary to obtain precise qualitative and quantitative mineralogical data, globally comparable to distinguish the geopedological identity of the vineyards. Soil samples from vineyards of various locations were analysed, in very different geological conditions. The bulk-rock quantitative phase analysis (QPA) was obtained by the Rietveld method while the detailed composition of the clay-sized fraction was determined by modelling of the oriented X-ray diffraction patterns. The research provided a precise classification of the mineral component of soils, distinguishing the mineral phases of the clays and the so-called mixed-layer clay minerals. We found that the content in mixed layers can be directly correlated with the water retention and the cation exchange capacity ​​of the soil, while the presence of other clayey minerals and phyllosilicates in this research did not affect this CEC parameter, which codes the fertility level of the soils. The study demonstrates that terroir, in particular soils formed in complex or very different geological conditions, can only be effectively interpreted by properly analysing its mineral phases, in particular the mixed-layer clay component. These are characteristic abiotic ecological indicators, which may have specific eco-physiological influences on the plant.


Publication date: May 4, 2022

Issue: Terclim 2022

Type: Article


Carlo G. Ferretti1 and Giuseppe Criciani2


1Geo Identity Research, Bolzano, Italy
2Department of Physics and Earth Sciences, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy

Contact the author


geology, minerals, mixed-layer clays, terroir, vineyard


IVES Conference Series | Terclim 2022


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