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1 August 2008 Are Cambisols in Alpine Karst Autochthonous or Eolian in Origin
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Abstract
This paper deals with a two-year study of karst soils and eolian dust deposition on the Reiteralpe paleosurface (1600 to 2000 m), Northern Calcareous Alps, Germany. Thirty soil profiles of Cambisols developed on Triassic and Cretaceous limestones are investigated. Dust samples collected periodically on snow cover provide influx rates and a seasonal dust record. Samples of soils, insoluble bedrock residue, and dust are characterized by pedological (e.g. grain size) and mineralogical (e.g. heavy minerals) data.The data indicate that limestone subtypes with varying crack-fillings (ferrous clays) determine the colors and amounts of residue. Both correlate positively with the thickness of reddish Bo-horizons, supporting their autochthonous character. The topsoils, however, show substantial eolian addition (silt, fine sand, mica). In winter, far-traveled red Saharan dust without organic material prevails, carried to the area by strong foehn winds. In early springtime, browner dust (organic rich) is observed which contains periglacial silicate-rich detritus from regional sources such as the Crystalline Austrian Alps.The measured winter dust influx rates are 4.8 cm per 10,000 years (related to 210 winter days). This is more than twice the calculated thickness of Holocene residue accumulation out of limestone weathering (2.3 cm per 10,000 years, related to 210 winter days), which indicates that eolian dust is a major contributor to alpine karst soil development.
and Carola Küfmann "Are Cambisols in Alpine Karst Autochthonous or Eolian in Origin," Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 40(3), (1 August 2008). https://doi.org/10.1657/1523-0430(06-091)[KUEFMANN]2.0.CO;2
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