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Identifying slope processes over time and their imprint in soils of medium-high mountains of Central Europe (the Karkonosze Mountains, Poland)


Waroszewski, Jaroslaw; Egli, Markus; Brandová, Dagmar; Christl, Marcus; Kabala, Cezary; Malkiewicz, Malgorzata; Kierczak, Jakub; Glina, Bartłomiej; Jezierski, Paweł (2018). Identifying slope processes over time and their imprint in soils of medium-high mountains of Central Europe (the Karkonosze Mountains, Poland). Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 43(6):1195-1212.

Abstract

Soils in mountainous areas are often polygenetic, developed in slope covers that relate to glacial and periglacial activities of the Pleistocene and Holocene and reflect climatic variations. Landscape development during the Holocene may have been influenced by erosion/solifluction that often started after the Holocene climatic optimum. To trace back soil evolution and its timing, we applied a multi-methodological approach. This approach helped us to outline scenario of soil transformation. According to our results, some aeolian input must have occurred in the late Pleistocene. During that time and the early Holocene, the soils most likely had features of Cryosols or Leptosols. Physico-chemical and mineralogical analyses have indicated that the material was denudated (between late Boreal to the Atlantic) from the ridge and upper slope positions forming a colluvium at midslope positions. Later, during the Sub-Boreal, mass wasting of the remains of silt material deposited at the end of the Pleistocene age on the ridge top seems to have occurred. In addition, the cool and moist conditions caused the deposition of a colluvium at the lower slope positions. The next phase was characterised by the transformation of Leptosols/Cambisols into Podzols at upper slope or shoulder positions and to Albic Cambisols at midslope positions. During the Sub-Boreal period, Stagnosols started to form at the lower part of the slope catena. Overall, the highest erosion rates were calculated at the upper-slope position and the lowest rates at midslope sites. 10Be data showed that the Bs, BC/C were covered during the Holocene by a colluvium with a different geological composition which complicated the calculation of erosion or accumulation rates. The interpretation of erosion and accumulation rates in such multi-layered materials may, therefore, be hampered. However, the multi-methodological reconstruction we applied shed light on the soil and landscape evolution of the eastern Karkonosze Mts.

Abstract

Soils in mountainous areas are often polygenetic, developed in slope covers that relate to glacial and periglacial activities of the Pleistocene and Holocene and reflect climatic variations. Landscape development during the Holocene may have been influenced by erosion/solifluction that often started after the Holocene climatic optimum. To trace back soil evolution and its timing, we applied a multi-methodological approach. This approach helped us to outline scenario of soil transformation. According to our results, some aeolian input must have occurred in the late Pleistocene. During that time and the early Holocene, the soils most likely had features of Cryosols or Leptosols. Physico-chemical and mineralogical analyses have indicated that the material was denudated (between late Boreal to the Atlantic) from the ridge and upper slope positions forming a colluvium at midslope positions. Later, during the Sub-Boreal, mass wasting of the remains of silt material deposited at the end of the Pleistocene age on the ridge top seems to have occurred. In addition, the cool and moist conditions caused the deposition of a colluvium at the lower slope positions. The next phase was characterised by the transformation of Leptosols/Cambisols into Podzols at upper slope or shoulder positions and to Albic Cambisols at midslope positions. During the Sub-Boreal period, Stagnosols started to form at the lower part of the slope catena. Overall, the highest erosion rates were calculated at the upper-slope position and the lowest rates at midslope sites. 10Be data showed that the Bs, BC/C were covered during the Holocene by a colluvium with a different geological composition which complicated the calculation of erosion or accumulation rates. The interpretation of erosion and accumulation rates in such multi-layered materials may, therefore, be hampered. However, the multi-methodological reconstruction we applied shed light on the soil and landscape evolution of the eastern Karkonosze Mts.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:16 Jan 2018 14:37
Last Modified:05 May 2018 01:02
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0197-9337
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.4305

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