Comparative Analysis of Mineralogical Characteristics of Clay-Rich Soil Samples obtained from Gbajimba, Angbaaye and Makurdi Areas of Benue State
The elemental concentrations and mineralogical composition of soil samples from Gbajimba, Angbaaye and Makurdi areas of Benue state were evaluated. Their clay fractions (particles smaller than 2 microns) studied through a series of mineralogical, chemical and physico-chemical analyses showed that the colour test of the sample showed brown to red. The study suggested that morphology of kaolinitic and quartz minerals is influenced by the parent material (i.e. feldspars or micas) and degree of chemical weathering. The pH values of pore water from clay samples showed acidity, ranging from 4.93 - 6.96. The electrical conductivities (EC) of the samples ranged from 2.68-3.48 mS/cm – 3.48mS/cm. The CEC results of the sample showed a 6.98-7.32 range. The results of X-ray diffraction (XRD), infrared spectroscopy (IR), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) characterization showed that the soil samples from these three areas with clay-rich soil were a mixtures of kaolinite, quartz, muscovite, microline, pyrite, chlorite and sylvite, showing quartz present in all samples. The results obtained from XRF showed that the clay samples mostly composed of silicon (IV) oxide in Gbajimba(51.538%), Angbaaye (49.107%) and Makurdi (64.826%); Aluminum in Gbajimba (18.883%), Angbaaye (22.419%) and Makurdi(16.319%);Iron in Gbajimba (8.3230%), Angbaaye (8.8611%) and Makurdi (4.2672%); Manganese, phosphorous, titanium etc. These are the proportion of the major expected elements. Hence, the results from the analysis fell within the same range of results from other works studied.