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Clay mineralogy fingerprinting of loess-mantled soils on different underlying substrates in the south-western Poland


Kowalska, Joanna Beata; Vögtli, Martina; Kierczak, Jakub; Egli, Markus; Waroszewski, Jaroslaw (2022). Clay mineralogy fingerprinting of loess-mantled soils on different underlying substrates in the south-western Poland. Catena, 210:105874.

Abstract

Loess may be integrated into slope deposits at different soil depths and may influence related physical, chemical and mineralogical soil properties. Therefore, tracking the border between deposited loess and underlying materials and estimating the depth of loess penetration is a challenge. Five soils from the Lower Silesia province in south-western Poland having different types of geologic substrate and being covered by loess deposits of various thicknesses were chosen to: 1) trace the origin of phyllosilicates in these heterogeneous soils (loess vs. underlying bedrock); 2) determine the influence of the geologic substrate and the loess mantle on clay mineral transformation in the soil; and 3) relate clay mineralogical traits to soil morphology. The loess consisted of long-distance and local aeolian sources as shown by the Ti/Zr ratios and heavy mineral composition. Geochemical and mineralogical traces of loess were easily detected in the mixed zone and in part also in the basal layer. The loess deposits are characterised by mica, chlorite, kaolinite, interstratified mica-vermiculite or hydroxy-interlayered vermiculite, vermiculite and a minor amount of smectite. Aeolian silt admixture was an important source of chlorite at all sites. The vertical distribution of mica indicated two types of sources — loess input and substrate. Smectite, however, has mostly been inherited from the underlying bedrock (serpentinite, glacio-fluvial deposits and basalt slope sediment) or was formed in the soils from mica or chlorite. Where present in the loess, smectite was only found in small amounts. The presence of kaolinite, HIV and mixed layered mica-vermiculite could be derived either from aeolian input or neoformation and thus actively occurring mineral (trans)formation reactions. Similar to mica, vermiculite was derived from both aeolian input and the geological substrate. The widespread loess deposits in this region rejuvenated the soil formation process, as evidenced by their mineralogical and chemical composition.

Abstract

Loess may be integrated into slope deposits at different soil depths and may influence related physical, chemical and mineralogical soil properties. Therefore, tracking the border between deposited loess and underlying materials and estimating the depth of loess penetration is a challenge. Five soils from the Lower Silesia province in south-western Poland having different types of geologic substrate and being covered by loess deposits of various thicknesses were chosen to: 1) trace the origin of phyllosilicates in these heterogeneous soils (loess vs. underlying bedrock); 2) determine the influence of the geologic substrate and the loess mantle on clay mineral transformation in the soil; and 3) relate clay mineralogical traits to soil morphology. The loess consisted of long-distance and local aeolian sources as shown by the Ti/Zr ratios and heavy mineral composition. Geochemical and mineralogical traces of loess were easily detected in the mixed zone and in part also in the basal layer. The loess deposits are characterised by mica, chlorite, kaolinite, interstratified mica-vermiculite or hydroxy-interlayered vermiculite, vermiculite and a minor amount of smectite. Aeolian silt admixture was an important source of chlorite at all sites. The vertical distribution of mica indicated two types of sources — loess input and substrate. Smectite, however, has mostly been inherited from the underlying bedrock (serpentinite, glacio-fluvial deposits and basalt slope sediment) or was formed in the soils from mica or chlorite. Where present in the loess, smectite was only found in small amounts. The presence of kaolinite, HIV and mixed layered mica-vermiculite could be derived either from aeolian input or neoformation and thus actively occurring mineral (trans)formation reactions. Similar to mica, vermiculite was derived from both aeolian input and the geological substrate. The widespread loess deposits in this region rejuvenated the soil formation process, as evidenced by their mineralogical and chemical composition.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Earth-Surface Processes
Uncontrolled Keywords:Earth-Surface Processes
Language:English
Date:1 March 2022
Deposited On:22 Dec 2022 10:13
Last Modified:28 Apr 2024 01:41
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0341-8162
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.catena.2021.105874
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)