Sediment provenance, soil development, and carbon content in fluvial and manmade terraces at Koiliaris River Critical Zone Observatory
- 426 Downloads
The purpose of this study was the investigation of sediment provenance and soil formation processes within a Mediterranean watershed (Koiliaris CZO in Greece) with particular emphasis on natural and manmade terraces.
Material and methods
Five sites (K1–K5) were excavated and analyzed for their pedology (profile description), geochemistry [including rare earth elements (REEs) and other trace elements], texture, and mineralogy along with chronological analysis (optical luminescence dating). The selected sites have the common characteristic of being flat terraces while the sites differed with regard to bedrock lithology, elevation, and land use.
Results and discussion
Three characteristic processes of soil genesis were identified: (1) sediments transportation from outcrops of metamorphic rocks and sedimentation at the fluvial sites (K1–K2), (2) in situ soil development in manmade terraces (K3, K4), and (3) strong eolian input and/or material transported by gravity from upslope at the mountainous site (K5). REE patterns verified the soil genesis processes while they revealed also soil development processes such as (a) calcite deposition (K1), (b) clay illuviation and strong weathering (K4), and (c) possibly fast oxidation/precipitation processes (K3). Carbon sequestration throughout the soil profile was high at manmade terraces at higher elevation compared to fluvial environments due to both climatic effects and possibly intensive anthropogenic impact.
Soils at Koiliaris CZO were rather young soils with limited evolution. The different soil age, land use, and climatic effect induced various soil genesis and soil development processes. The manmade terraces at higher elevation have much higher carbon sequestration compared to the anthropogenic impacted fluvial areas.
KeywordsCarbon content Land use Mediterranean watershed Soil development
The extensive sampling and analyses obtained in this study were financially supported from the European Commission FP 7 Collaborative Project “Soil Transformations in European Catchments” (SoilTrEC) (Grant Agreement no. 244118).
- Arianostou M (2001) Landscape changes in Mediterranean ecosystems of Greece: implications for fire and biodiversity issues. J Mediterr Ecol 2:165–178Google Scholar
- Charitopoulos E, Sarris A (2009) Documenting Venetian and Ottoman landscape in Crete: settlement patterns, road network and productive areas in Rethymnon inland. 14th International Congress “Cultural Heritage and New Technologies” ViennaGoogle Scholar
- FAO (2006) World reference base for soil resources, World Soil Resources Reports No. 103, 2nd edn. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
- Le Roy EL (1971). Times of feast, times of famine: a history of climate since the year 1000. Barbara Bray. Doubleday, Garden City, NYGoogle Scholar
- Ma Y-J, Huo R-K, Liu C-Q (2002) Speciation and fractionation of rare earth elements in a lateritic profile from southern China: identification of the carriers of Ce anomalies. Proceedings of the Goldschmidt Conference, Davos, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
- McLennan SM (1989) Rare earth elements in sedimentary rocks: influence of provenance and sedimentary processes. In: Lipin BR and McKay GA (eds) Geochemistry and mineralogy of rare earth elements. Rev Mineral 21:169–200Google Scholar
- Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) (2005) Ecosystems and human well-being: synthesis. Island Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
- Scarciglia F, Tuccimei P, Andrea Vacca A, Barca D, Pulice I, Salzano R, Soligo M (2011) Soil genesis, morphodynamic processes and chronological implications in two soil transects of SE Sardinia, Italy: traditional pedological study coupled with laser ablation ICP-MS and radionuclide analyses. Quatern Int 233:40–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Siart C, Hecht S, Holzhauer I, Altherr R, Meyer HP, Schukraft G, Eitel B, Bubenzer O, Panagiotopoulos D (2010) Karst depressions as geoarchaeological archives: the palaeoenvironmental reconstruction of Zominthos (Central Crete) based on geophysical prospection, mineralogical investigations and GIS. Quatern Int 216:75–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Soil Survey Staff (2004) Soil Survey Laboratory Methods Manual. Soil Survey Investigations Rep. 42. USDA–NRCS, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
- Stallsmith BA (2007) One colony, two mother cities: Cretan agriculture under Venetian and Ottoman rule, JSTORGoogle Scholar
- UNEP (2012) Emerging issues in our global environment. UNOP Nairobi, ISO 10041:2004, 19–31Google Scholar
- Wan Y, Liu C (2005) Study on adsorption of rare earth elements by kaolinite. J Rare Earth 23:377–381Google Scholar