Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 870–881 | Cite as

Weathering and soils formation on different parent materials in Golestan Province, Northern Iran

  • Maryam Mahmoodi
  • Farhad KhormaliEmail author
  • Arash Amini
  • Shamsollah Ayoubi


Geochemical, mineralogical, and micromorphological characteristics of soils and their relevant parent rocks including loess, ignimbrite, sandstone and limestone were investigated to identify the soil-parent material uniformity and the weathering degree of soils in Golestan Province, northern Iran. Highly developed Calcixerolls and moderately developed Haploxerepts were formed on loess and limestone, respectively. In contrast, the soils formed on ignimbrite and sandstone were non-developed Entisols. Illite was the dominant clay mineral found in ignimbrite and sandstone in both the A horizon and parent material. In loess derived soils however, smectite was dominant especially in the Bt horizon compared to its parent material indicating partly to its pedogenic formation. In limestone, illite and vermiculite were dominant both in the A and C horizons. Ti/Zr ratio proved that the studied soils were closely related to their underlying parent materials geochemically. Chemical index of alteration (CIA), micromorphological index of soil development (MISECA), smectite/illite+chlorite ratio and magnetic susceptibility were applied to investigate the degree of soil development. Results showed that the most and the least developed soils were those formed on loess deposits and limestone, respectively. Application of the different geochemical and pedogenetic approaches was proved to be useful in identifying the relevance of soils to their underlying parent materials and also their degree of development.


Parent material Soil formation Weathering index Loess Iran 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maryam Mahmoodi
    • 1
  • Farhad Khormali
    • 1
    Email author
  • Arash Amini
    • 2
  • Shamsollah Ayoubi
    • 3
  1. 1.Dept of Soil ScienceGorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural ResourceGorganIran
  2. 2.Dept of GeologyGolestan UniversityGorganIran
  3. 3.Dept of Soil Science, College of AgricultureIsfahan University of TechnologyIsfahanIran

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