Soil development and spatial differentiation in a glacial river valley under cold and extremely arid climate of East Pamir Mountains
Cezary Kabała , Łukasz Chachulski , Bogdan Gądek , Bogdan Korabiewski , Monika Mętrak , Małgorzata Suska-Malawska
AbstractMelting glaciers release new ground surfaces, which may be either a source of greenhouse gas emissions or a sink for carbon dioxide. Studies carried out in subpolar and alpine ecosystems confirm the relatively rapid soil development and increase of carbon and nitrogen pools. However, observations from high-mountain glacier forelands in cold and dry climate are very scarce. This study analyses the impact of major environmental factors related to climate, topography, and vegetation, over a time-scale, on soil development and spatial soil differentiation in the foreland of Uisu Glacier, East Pamir Mountains. Moreover, the usefulness of the World Reference Base (WRB) and Soil Taxonomy in the classification of poorly developed soils in the ultracontinental climate was assessed. Geomorphological, pedological, and botanical surveys covered a sequence of terraces, alluvial fans, and end-moraines. Typical characteristics of the soils in the glacier foreland were: very high stoniness, coarse texture, high content of calcium carbonate, alkaline reaction, and low salinity. Soil development has extremely low intensity and was manifested in (a) soil organic carbon pools being among the lowest reported in the world (up to 1.4 kg m−2 in the layer 0–50 cm), and (b) the presence of cambic/calcic horizons only on landforms older than of Mid-Holocene age (estimated). It was concluded that both the extremely cold and extremely dry climate conditions in the Uisu Glacier foreland limit the water flux and availability, suppress vegetation density and variability, and slow down the rate of soil development. Both WRB and Soil Taxonomy were able to reflect the advances in soil development and spatial soil differentiation (Calcaric Hyperskeletic Leptosols – Calcaric Cambisols – Cambic Calcisols, and Gelifluvents – Haplocambids - Haplocalcids, respectively); however, highlighting different features developed under an extremely cold and dry climate conditions of the East Pamir Mountains.
|Journal series||Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, e-ISSN 1879-1026, (N/A 200 pkt)|
|Publication size in sheets||0.95|
|Keywords in English||Glacier melting; Soil transformation; Mountain soils; Soil organic carbon|
|ASJC Classification||; ; ;|
|Score||= 200.0, 20-04-2021, ArticleFromJournal|
|Publication indicators||= 0; = 0; : 2016 = 1.849; : 2019 = 6.551 (2) - 2019=6.419 (5)|
|Citation count*||1 (2021-05-06)|
* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.