The soil chronosequence is a useful method for investigating pedological theories. Soil chemical, physical and mineralogical properties in chronosequences change over time and exhibit systematic and time-dependent trends, which can be used to analyze the rates and directions of pedogenic changes. The potential of soil spectroscopy as an emerging, rapid and cost-effective technique for predicting soil properties has been widely accepted and has motivated the application of spectroscopic techniques to the analysis of soil chronosequence. We present a soil chronosequence derived from 1000-year-old calcareous marine sediments and examine changes in six soil properties over this period. We evaluated the utility of a soil spectroscopic method to detect soil property changes and to predict the pedogenic properties and soil ages of the chronosequence. The results show that some soil pedogenic processes, such as soil organic matter accumulation, CaCO3
leaching and clay migration, can be identified in the millennium chronosequence. Power chronofunctions are formulated for soil organic matter (SOM) and Logarithmic chronofunctions are fitted for clay, CaCO3
and pH. These pedogenic processes are identified in the reflectance intensity and absorption features of soil spectroscopy, and pedogenic properties can be calibrated via soil reflectance spectroscopy. Profile ages can also be predicted via pseudo multi-depth spectra of soil profiles, and soil spectral curves for 0–30 cm generated the best prediction results (RPD = 1.85). We conclude that soil properties, changing due to weathering and soil formation, act as a bridge linking spectroscopy and weathering levels/pedogenic processes. The results imply that applying spectroscopy techniques to chronosequence study and mapping the degree of soil development in certain areas should be possible.
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