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Article

Soil Formation and Mass Redistribution during the Holocene Using Meteoric 10Be, Soil Chemistry and Mineralogy

1
Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
2
Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, ETH Zurich, Stefano-Franscini-Platz 3, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland
3
Institute of Hydrology, Albert-Ludwig University Freiburg, Friedrichstraße 39, 79104 Freiburg, Germany
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Section Hydrology, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
5
Institute of Geography, University of Innsbruck, Innrain 52, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jesús Ruiz-Fernández, Naki Akçar, Susan Ivy-Ochs, Fritz Schlunegger and Jesus Martinez-Frias
Geosciences 2022, 12(2), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences12020099
Received: 21 July 2021 / Revised: 31 January 2022 / Accepted: 13 February 2022 / Published: 21 February 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cutting Edge Earth Sciences: Three Decades of Cosmogenic Nuclides)
Soil development and erosion are important and opposing processes in the evolution of high-mountainous landscapes, though their dynamics are not fully understood. We compared soil development between a calcareous and a siliceous chronosequence in the central Swiss Alps at high altitudes, which both cover soil formation over the Holocene. We calculated element mass balances, long-term erosion rates based on meteoric 10Be and we determined the rates of soil formation. We also analyzed the shifts in the mineralogical composition, weathering indices, the particle size distribution, carbon stocks and oxalate extractable Fe, Al, and Mn. The siliceous soils had high chemical weathering rates at the early stage of soil formation that strongly decreased after a few millennia. The development of calcareous soil was characterized by high carbonate losses and a shift to finer soil texture. Soil erosion hampered the upbuilding of soil horizons in the early stages of soil development, which led to a delay in soil and vegetation development. This study shows how soil formation drivers change over time. In the early stages of soil development, the parent material predominantly drives soil formation while at later stages the vegetation becomes more dominant as it influences surface stability, hydrological pathways, and chemical weathering that determine water drainage and retention. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil forming factors; cosmogenic nuclides; chronosequences; high-mountain soils; proglacial areas soil forming factors; cosmogenic nuclides; chronosequences; high-mountain soils; proglacial areas
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MDPI and ACS Style

Musso, A.; Tikhomirov, D.; Plötze, M.L.; Greinwald, K.; Hartmann, A.; Geitner, C.; Maier, F.; Petibon, F.; Egli, M. Soil Formation and Mass Redistribution during the Holocene Using Meteoric 10Be, Soil Chemistry and Mineralogy. Geosciences 2022, 12, 99. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences12020099

AMA Style

Musso A, Tikhomirov D, Plötze ML, Greinwald K, Hartmann A, Geitner C, Maier F, Petibon F, Egli M. Soil Formation and Mass Redistribution during the Holocene Using Meteoric 10Be, Soil Chemistry and Mineralogy. Geosciences. 2022; 12(2):99. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences12020099

Chicago/Turabian Style

Musso, Alessandra, Dmitry Tikhomirov, Michael L. Plötze, Konrad Greinwald, Anne Hartmann, Clemens Geitner, Fabian Maier, Fanny Petibon, and Markus Egli. 2022. "Soil Formation and Mass Redistribution during the Holocene Using Meteoric 10Be, Soil Chemistry and Mineralogy" Geosciences 12, no. 2: 99. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences12020099

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