Eric Van Ranst

Eric Van Ranst
Ghent University | UGhent · Department of Geology

Professor Emeritus

About

401
Publications
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Publications

Publications (401)
Article
The typically high heterogeneity of urban soil properties challenges their characterization and interpretation. The objective of this study was to investigate if proximally sensed volume-specific magnetic susceptibility and/or geochemical soil properties can uncover differences in anthropogenic, lithogenic and pedological contributions in, and betw...
Article
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The occurrence and the treatment of potentially toxic metals in wastes are investigated by many studies, especially in territories exploited by industrial activities. Improper phosphogypsum waste storage is of serious environmental concern. The present work aimed to evaluate the potential of natural clay minerals from the Gabes area, southern Tunis...
Article
Cation exchange capacity (CEC) is a very important soil property widely used in the assessment of soil quality. Unfortunately, its determination in the laboratory can be very tedious, especially when samples are many, necessitating high costs and time. To curb these challenges, pedotransfer functions (PTFs) can be used as indirect and reliable tool...
Article
Using termite mounds as sampling medium for geochemical exploration is based on the assumption that mound construction results in upward transfer of particles that could reflect the composition of the underlying material. For large mounds such as those constructed by Macrotermes species, this is complicated by their dimensions and age. To investiga...
Article
This paper compares the development of soils in low-altitude zones of two eastern Galápagos islands having a similar composition of the volcanic rock substrate but contrasting topographical features, i.e. the small and relatively flat island of Santa Fé and the larger, mountainous, younger island of Santa Cruz. The soils of the lower, dry zone of S...
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Information on soil properties is crucial for soil preservation, the improvement of food security, and the provision of ecosystem services. In particular, for the African continent, spatially explicit information on soils and their ability to sustain these services is still scarce. To address data gaps, infrared spectroscopy has achieved great succ...
Article
Termites can play a localized prominent role in soil nutrient availability and cycling because mound materials are often enriched in nutrients relative to surrounding soil. Mound materials may thus prove to be useful amendments, though evidently mound spatial arrangement needs to be considered as well. Furthermore, it is not known if gradients of s...
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The Krakatau islands complex was formed after the huge eruption of the late Mt. Krakatau in 1883. The complex consists of four islands: Rakata, Panjang, Sertung, and Anak Krakatau. While volcanic activity and plant succession have been extensively studied in the Krakatau area, the soils received less attention. This study characterizes the morpholo...
Article
Micromorphological features of structures created by termites have the potential of recording some aspects of the building practices that are involved in their development. This was assessed for terrestrial mounds and arboreal nests of various termite species that are common in the southern part of Katanga, DR Congo. The three main feeding-strategy...
Article
The amount of water available to leach solutes from soil is one of the major features determining mineral weathering, mineral neoformation and soil properties. It affects the fate of dissolved silicon (Si), which may follow four routes: leaching, mineral synthesis, adsorption, uptake by plants forming phytoliths. Here, we quantify the reservoirs of...
Article
Mount Anak Krakatau erupted on 22nd December 2018, resulting in a large deposit of fresh volcanoclastic materials on the island's surface. As the age of these new soil materials is known precisely, and the island is isolated from human activities, studying the ash and pyroclastic materials of Anak Krakatau will provide insights on the first stages...
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Terrestrial biota in the Antarctic are more globally distinct and highly structured biogeographically than previously believed, but information on biogeographic patterns and endemism in freshwater communities is largely lacking. We studied biogeographic patterns of Antarctic freshwater diatoms based on the analysis of species occurrences in a datas...
Preprint
Full-text available
Information on soil properties is crucial for soil preservation, improving food security, and the provision of ecosystem services. Especially, for the African continent, spatially explicit information on soils and their ability to sustain these services is still scarce. To address data gaps, infrared spectroscopy has gained great success as a cost-...
Article
Ore mineral extraction involves stripping of topsoils that can lead to eradication of soil biota, including nematodes. Hence, rehabilitation is needed to assist in the recovery of damaged soil ecosystems. In many developing countries, e.g., the Philippines, rehabilitation of soils is mostly carried out through addition of organic amendments and dev...
Article
The Arenosols of Kinshasa’s hinterland are characterized by a low chemical fertility, an acid reaction and a mineralogical composition limited to quartz, kaolinite and some residual oxides of Al and Ti. The effects of pink dolostone from Kimpese (PDK) and coffee waste (CW) application on the charge properties of the Batéké soils were studied in vit...
Article
A study of the literature dealing with micromorphology of Belgian soils and palaeosoils is presented. Most soils in Belgium developed in Quaternary covers, sandy in the north, becoming more silty towards the south, and mixed with more or less important amounts of substrate material. In addition, azonal soils occur in the recent dunes, the marine Po...
Article
Diminishing crop yields in the Western Highlands of Cameroon is largely attributed to soil acidity. Soil characterization was carried out on six highly weathered soils developed from pyroxene-rich basalt in the North-West Region (NWR) of Cameroon to evaluate their use potential for agricultural production. These soils are acidic in nature, and have...
Article
The formation of kaolinite-smectite mixed-layered clays results from weathering of smectite in leached and silica-depleted environments. Halloysite-smectite mixed-layered clays have been proposed to form from weatherable minerals in volcanic ash soils through simultaneous formation of 1:1 and 2:1 units in silica-rich environments. Here, we report a...
Article
Physical and geochemical properties of six soils developed on tephra from Mts. Kupe and Manengouba were studied in order to assess the degree of weathering of the tephric parent materials. Physico-chemical properties were determined following standard procedures. Total elemental contents and selective extracted contents of Al and Fe by acid ammoniu...
Article
Increasing demographic pressure in the area around the Mounts Kupe and Manengouba (Camer�oon) is leading to increased agricultural activities with potential heavy metal pollution problems. Concentra�tions of twelve trace elements (TEs) in five Andosols and one Cambisol developed on tephra of ages varying from 6.61 ± 0.17 to 0.01 ± 0.12 Ma of the mo...
Article
Mineral transformations in soils are important processes in assessing pedogenesis. A micromorphological study, complemented by mineralogical and physicochemical analyses, was conducted for two contrasting soils developed on tephra of Mt. Manengouba, i.e. an Andosol and a Cambisol, in order to compare weathering trends based on olivine and biotite a...
Article
There is currently no quick available method for assessing chemical reactivity of liming materials used to neutralize soil acidity. This study was conducted to assess the effectiveness of a method developed to determine the chemical reactivity of liming materials. The reactivity of five conventional liming materials, biochar, charcoal and wood ash...
Article
In Malaysia, soils derived from sedimentary rocks are extensively used for agricultural purposes with oil palm and rubber being the main dwellers. In order to understand the environmental impact of these perennial crops planting, the variability of physicochemical properties of 25 representative soils derived from sedimentary rocks under different...
Article
The accumulation of soil organic matter (SOM), poorly crystalline Fe oxides and metal-humus complexes is a trait of non-allophanic Andosols. The process of andosolization, which may occur in ferrallitic soils with high organic matter content, can involve transformation from well crystallized Fe oxides to poorly crystallized Fe oxides and Fe-humus c...
Article
Soil organic matter (SOM) dynamics and termite activity have now been widely accepted as key players for improving soil properties in tropical agro-ecosystems. Numerous studies have described environmental impacts of aboveground termite mounds, while few data are available on temporary structures built for food foraging, called termite sheetings. T...
Article
Soil processes strongly govern silicon (Si) mobility in terrestrial environments and its relation to other global biogeochemical cycles. The nature of inherited soil clay minerals can be highly diverse given the variability of their weathering environment. The influence of Si isotope fractionation factor in the initial geochemical conditions of cla...
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Mining companies adopt different post-mining management practices to rehabilitate mined sites to enhance environmental management and sustainability. The study assessed the chemical and mineralogical properties of some post-mining land management options from two gold mines in the Western Region of Ghana. Samples of waste rock (WR), mine tailings (...
Article
Soils along a toposequence (1500–2260 m) on the southern slope of the volcanic Bambouto Mountains in western Cameroon were investigated to elucidate the occurrence and development of andic properties at high altitude (>1800 m) in the study area. The surface layer that has these properties has in the past been interpreted as a weathered volcanic ash...
Article
We studied the relationship between the mineralogical composition and surface charge properties of representative Quaternary volcanic ash soils, classified as Andosols, along an East-West sequence on Java Island in Indonesia. The soil charge characteristics were determined using ‘charge fingerprinting’ procedures. Most of the studied soils have a l...
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Knowledge on soil properties likely to influence P sorption in tephra soils is very important for sustainable management of available P. Sorption studies on six tephra soils were conducted to relate P sorption to soil characteristics in order to identify those with potential influence on P sorption. Four equilibrium-based sorption models commonly e...
Article
The Walkley-Black (WB) method has been widely used for soil organic carbon (SOC) determination with little attention on its reliability and effectiveness compared to the dry combustion (DC) method. This study compared SOC contents of some Cameroon tephra soils as determined by the WB and DC methods to assess the effectiveness of the WB method, usin...
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In the upper part of the solum of mineral soils, soil organic and mineral constituents co-evolve through pedogenesis, that in turn impacts the transformation and stabilization of soil organic matter (SOM). Here, we assess the reciprocal interactions between soil minerals, SOM and the broad composition of microbial populations in a 530-year chronose...
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The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of chemical and physical fractions of soil organic matter (SOM), rather than SOM per se, as indicators of soil physical quality (SPQ) based on their effect on aggregate stability (AS). Chemically extracted humic and fulvic acids (HA and FA) were used as chemical fractions, and heavy and light frac...
Article
In north-west Europe, agricultural diffuse P losses are a major cause of eutrophication problems in surface waters. Given that the Water Framework Directive (WFD) demands fast water quality improvements and most of the actual P mitigation strategies tend to work on the long run, new short-term mitigation measures are urgently needed. We here report...
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Organic soils or Histosols or peats as they are commonly referred to, are characterized by the presence of large amounts of organic soil materials (OSM), which is commonly quantified by the Walkley and Black (1934) (WB) method to determine the soil organic matter (SOM) using a correction factor of 1.724. SOM of Histosols is also identified through...
Article
Quartz grains in an iron sandstone layer in near-surface sandy deposits at Kasangulu, south of Kinshasa, DR Congo, are marked by the presence of iron oxides in subparallel horizontal cracks within the sand grains. This exceptional feature was investigated to understand its origin and paleoenvironmental significance. Based on thin section observatio...
Article
Tephra soils around mount Kupe harbor forests which have in the past 30 to 40 years been subject to degradation giving way to continuous cultivation which have the tendency to reduce the yield potentials of the soils. This study was conducted to evaluate the state of degradation following the long periods of cultivation to assist put in place more...
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This study is the first to present data on local (=beach) and gamma diversity of beach nematode assemblages from the Persian Gulf. We investigated four beaches near the city of Bandar Abbas, Iran. On each beach, we sampled three stations at 50-m intervals, with increasing distance from a local pollution source, mostly domestic sewage. A total of 39...
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Regional frequency analysis based on L-moments was applied to assess the spatial extent of meteorological droughts in tandem with their return periods in Zambia. Weather stations monthly rainfall data were screened to form homogenous sub-regions, validated by a homogeneity criterion and fitted the Generalized Extreme Value distribution using the go...
Article
Cultivation of paddy (rice) in volcanic soils is commonly practiced in West Sumatra, Indonesia. This study aims to provide a detailed geochemical fingerprinting of topsoils of paddy fields derived from volcanic materials in the vicinity of mountain (Mt) Marapi, Mt. Sago, Mt. Singgalang, Mt. Tandikek and Caldera Maninjau in West Sumatra, Indonesia a...
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In Morocco, the Vertisols, known by vernacular name Tirs, are often used for cereal and arboriculture. Because of their difficult physical properties due to their high content of swelling clay and the presence of cracks, Vertisols are generally underutilized at present. This paper presents a state of the art on Vertisols and their distribution in t...
Chapter
This review paper attempts to summarize the progress made in research efforts conducted over the past years to study the surface chemical properties of the tropical and subtropical soils, usually called variable charge soils, and the way they response to different management. The paper is composed of an introductory section that provides a brief di...
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Antarctic soils are known to be oligotrophic and of having low buffering capacities. It is expected that this is particularly the case for inland high altitude regions. We hypothesized that the bedrock type and the presence of macrobiota in these soils enforce a high selective pressure on their bacterial communities. To test this, we analysed the b...
Article
The debate on global food security has regained vigor since the food crisis of 2008, when a sudden spike in the prices of staple food commodities dramatically demonstrated that securing the supply and accessibility of food for a world of nine billion people in 2050 cannot be taken for granted (Godfray et al. 2010; Swinnen and Squicciarini 2012; God...
Article
Around Lubumbashi, the introduction of large-scale pivot-irrigated agriculture entails levelling of large termite mounds during field preparation. The effect on soil fertility and crop yield (Solanum tuberosum and Alium cepa) is evaluated along 11 transects extending from a former termite mound location to reference soil that received no termite mo...
Article
An Acrudoxic Kandiudult soil profile from Farmhill, KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, was analyzed by Mossbauer spectroscopy as an example of a red soil with yellowish surface horizons, a common sequence for which iron oxide characteristics are only poorly documented. In the red lower part of the profile (62+ cm), the Fe oxide fraction consists...
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This paper presents a free and open-source program called PyXRD (short for Python X-ray diffraction) to improve the quantification of complex, poly-phasic mixed-layer phyllosilicate assemblages. The validity of the program was checked by comparing its output with Sybilla v2.2.2, which shares the same mathematical formalism. The novelty of this prog...
Article
To date, no global data on carbon sequestration at the initial weathering phase of tephra deposits are available. To study carbon storage in the new volcanic deposit, tephra layers were reconstructed for a period of 46months. The tephra samples were collected immediately after eruption of Mount (Mt.) Talang on 12 April 2005, over portions of the So...
Article
Challenges of ensuring food security under climate change require urgent and substantial increase in the focus of research, innovation, transformation of knowledge, and rapid adoption of available technologies. Here we simulate the effects of the adoption of higher-yielding varieties of rice, wheat and maize crops into the food production systems o...
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Quaternary slope deposits near the Lesse river in the Famenne region, south Belgium, contain scattered rounded rock fragments (5-15 cm diameter) that are typically characterized by a dark coating or patina. This dark surface resembles rock varnish occurrences. To establish the nature of the coatings, chemical, mineralogical and petrographical analy...
Article
At the prehistoric site of Rosalinde in Ruien (Belgium) sandstone blocks of local origin have been found in a configuration that was tentatively interpreted by the archaeologists as a hearth. These sandstones are identified as ferruginous sandstone and glauconiferous sandstone, and each block shows a discoloured rim which is not typically observed...
Article
Restoration of historic buildings is often executed using lime mortars. A restoration mortar is considered compatible with the original building materials when it answers to certain criteria, such as the facilitation of moisture transport. This can be determined by studying porosity, permeability, and the pore size distribution of both materials. S...
Article
The yield potential of oil palm planted on peat land has always been a controversial subject. Most past soil research on oil palm yield on peat land was mainly based on the depth and drainability. Little attention was given to the impact of peat characteristics on oil palm from a yield perspective. This study tests the hypothesis that physical soil...