The importance of non-carbonate mineral weathering as a soil formation mechanism within a karst weathering profile in the SPECTRA Critical Zone Observatory, Guizhou Province, China

Oliver Moore, Heather Buss*, Green Sophie, Man Liu, Zhaoliang Song

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

3 Citations (Scopus)
279 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Soil degradation, including rocky desertification, of the karst regions in China is severe. Karst landscapes are especially sensitive to soil degradation as carbonate rocks are nutrient-poor and easily eroded. Understanding the balance between soil formation and soil erosion is critical for long-term soil sustainability, yet little is known about the initial soil forming processes on karst terrain. Herein we examine the initial weathering processes of several types of carbonate bedrock containing varying amounts of non-carbonate minerals in the SPECTRA Critical Zone Observatory, Guizhou Province, Southwest China. We compared the weathering mechanisms of the bedrock to the mass transfer of mineral nutrients in a soil profile developed on these rocks and found that soil formation and nutrient contents are strongly dependent upon the weathering of interbedded layers of more silicate-rich bedrock (marls). Atmospheric inputs from dust were also detected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-571
Number of pages6
JournalActa Geochimica
Volume36
Issue number3
Early online date4 Sep 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017

Structured keywords

  • Cabot Institute

Keywords

  • Chemical weathering
  • Critical zone
  • Desertification
  • Guizhou Province
  • Karst

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