Eurasian Soil Science

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 249–260 | Cite as

Accumulation of organic matter in the mineral layers of permafrost-affected soils of coastal lowlands in East Siberia

  • N. S. Mergelov
  • V. O. Targulian
Genesis and Geography of Soils


On the basis of a large volume of literature and original data, the high content (1–7%) of organic matter in the mineral layer of loamy permafrost-affected soils of coastal lowlands in East Siberia (from the lower reaches of the Lena River to the lower reaches of the Kolyma River) has been statistically proved. In most cases, the reserves of Corg in the mineral layer of these soils exceed those in the surface organic horizons and constitute 60–90% of the total soil pool of Corg. The enrichment of the mineral layer with Corg is due to the cryogenic retention (retenization) of humus (the illuviation and accumulation of colorless humic substances above permafrost) and the cryogenic mass exchange (mechanical admixture of organic matter from the upper organic horizons into the mineral layers). The analysis of 60 soil profiles showed that the accumulation of organic matter above the permafrost table is observed in 43% of cases; in general, the organic matter distribution in the soil profiles is highly variable. A specific type of colorless humus is accumulated above the permafrost table. The mechanisms of its precipitation and transformation in the profile require further studies.


Humus Mineral Soil EURASIAN Soil Science Organic Horizon Loamy Soil 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. S. Mergelov
    • 1
  • V. O. Targulian
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of GeographyRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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