Saturday, 15 July 2006

Paleosoils of Burial Hills and their Modern Natural Analogues.

Roman V. Kuznetsov, Vladimir S. Kryschenko, Elena N. Karavaeva, and Tatiyana M. Magomedova. Rostov State Univ, B. Sadovaya 105, Rostov-on-Don, Russia

There are differences between paleosols of burial hills and their modern natural analogues according to the following morphological features: the high content of carbonates both as spots and as veins, and color. Modern soils are dark-gray to dark-brown but burial soils are yellowish to yellow-brown. There are also differences in soil chemical properties. The pH values were 8.0 in burial soils instead of 7.6 in zonal soils. Additionally, these paleosols exhibit higher content of carbonates and lower levels of water soluble salts such as Na2SO4, CaSO4 as well as some that are toxic to plants such as NaHCO3, MgSO4 and MgCl2. The amount of toxic salts in these soils varies from 54.5 % to 91.9 % of the total salt content in comparison to 66 % in modern zonal soils. In addition, the paleosols have lower humus content (0.12 to 0.84 %) where as in modern zonal soils the humus content is much higher (2.38 % in top layer). Our research indicates that these differences are not only a result of the effect of a more pronounced arid climate during the genesis of the paleosols investigated but also because the burial hills were repeatedly opened to expose the soil to the prevailing climate.

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