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Acidification Assessment after Peat Bog Drainage in the Catalan Pyrenees (NE Iberia)

Department of Environment and Soil Sciences, University of Lleida, 25003 Lleida, Spain
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Quaternary 2019, 2(3), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat2030032
Received: 25 June 2019 / Revised: 9 September 2019 / Accepted: 16 September 2019 / Published: 18 September 2019
The Pyrenean range (NE Iberian Peninsula) has some favourable lithological and climatic conditions (iron-rich parent materials and udic moisture regimes) for the formation of acid sulfate soils (ASS) that have not been reported on from the region until now. The analyses of a drained peat bog near València d’Àneu revealed a pH (1:2.5) of 3.7. We hypothesize that it contained sulfidic materials that were oxidized during drainage, which could have caused its acidification. The main goal of this study is to understand the characteristics and the potential acidity of these organic soils and the consequences that this could generate in the current environment. In order to do so, several profiles were described and sampled in the field for chemical and micromorphological analyses. The results show that the oxidation of the newly formed pyrite in the soil or pyrite contained in the Cambro–Ordovician parent material was responsible for the low pH and high electrical conductivity (EC). The soils still contain sulfidic materials at present, which could be oxidized in the future, with the consequent risk for water quality. The results will be useful to evaluate the risk of other peats in the Pyrenees becoming acid sulfate soils if drained. View Full-Text
Keywords: acid sulfate soils; acidity potential; gypsum; pyrite; Catalan Pyrenees acid sulfate soils; acidity potential; gypsum; pyrite; Catalan Pyrenees
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Catalán, A.; Antúnez, M.; Poch, R.M. Acidification Assessment after Peat Bog Drainage in the Catalan Pyrenees (NE Iberia). Quaternary 2019, 2, 32.

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