Resumo em inglês In the beginning of this work a brief idea was given on what is understood as "clay", on the scientific methods applied to the study of the matter "clay" as well as on its conception with regard to the edaphic studies. A description is given of the methods of total and natural mechanical analyses which were employed in the agro-geological Department. The work is illustrated by a graphic showing the fractions of the mechanical analysis of the chief great soil types of the (mais) State of São Paulo. The fraction clay is then studied by chemical way in the following sequence : 1.° total chemical analysis, 2.° partial chemical analysis, 3.° chemical analysis of the Helmholz layer and 4.° study of the fixation of the ion Ca+ + in the already mentioned Helmholz layer. The first analysis separates and attacks the hydrated aluminium silicates, the hydrated oxyds of iron and aluminium, manganese, etc. In this analysis the relationship between silica and sesquioxyds was determined. The second type of attack or chemical analysis does not affect the hydrated silicates of aluminium, all others go in dissolution. In this analysis were determined chiefly the sesquioxyds in their free form in the clay complex. For the study of the Helmholz layer, i.e. the determination of changeable ions, solutes of NH4Cl N/l, HNO3 N/5, KCl N/l, etc. were used, percolation of these liquids being made through a layer of air dried soil. The relationship between soil and liquid was always 1:10. In this analysis, principally the cations K+, Ca++, Mg++, Al+ + +, H+ etc. were determined. With such determinations the calculations of the following values were obtained: S = sum of the changeable bases in ME; T = total value in ME of the sorptive power of the complex in each 100 g dried soil at 110° C. and V = percentage of saturation of the complexes with bases. Finally, the qualitative radiographic analysis of the fraction clay was carried out by means of the Debye-Scherrer-Hull method. For these studies the Siemens-Berlin apparatus was used, the transformer of which runs with all0-220 volts 60-cycle alternating current. The bulb has a copper anti-cathode and is fed by a current of 13 m.A. of intensity and the difference of potential is of 30,000, 35,000 and 47,000 volts. The flash of X-rays goes through the nickel filter in order to free it of the b irradiations which are deleterious. In this way, inciding vertically on the preparation, radiations CuK a with l = 1,539 A are obtained. The sensible film used was a Lawe-Film-Agfa, with an exposure going from 11/2 to 2 hours with 35,000 V. The chassis has a diameter of 57 mm. More than 500 radiographs of soil samples were taken, of those proceding from all districts of the State, 79 of which are presented in the present work. With this material the different constituents of the clay minerals contained in our soils were known. Thus, in the soils over the Archean geological formation, kaolinite is represented most frequently and abundantly ; the hydrargillite also appears commonly. The soils over the Glacial formation contain the same representatives and oscillations as those just mentioned. In the Corum-batai formation, quartz is the most important constituent. The Botucatu formation (lava) is that which gave origin to our legitimate red soils ; the mineralogical clay constituents of these soils are : 1.° large amount of hydrated oxyds of iron up to 35% of Fe2O3 for each 100 g of soil at 110° C. ; 2.° hydrargillite and 3.° kaolinite. The amount of the latter in the clay complex ranges between 9 and 25%. The sandy soils existing in the geological formations of lower and upper Baurú bear in their clays the following mineralogical constituents : 1.° kaolinite, 2.° montmorrillonitic type (on the upper Baurú only), 3.° hydrargillite (more common on the lower Baurú) and 4.° quartz, generally, in small percentages. These researches made it evident that the constituents of the clay fraction of our soils commonly have a small sorptive power related to the cations; it follows hence that they do not show a great power of retention of manure with the exception of the montmorrillonitic type.