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Late Pleistocene paleosol formation in a dynamic aggradational microenvironment - A case study from the Malá nad Hronom loess succession (Slovakia)
Catena. 2021, V. 199, 105087
Fecha de publicación
The geomorphological characteristics of the loess succession at Malá nad Hronom (Slovakia) mean that it provides a valuable opportunity for the investigation of differences in soil formation in various topographic positions. Along with the semiquantitative characterization of the paleosols (on the basis of physical properties, texture, the characteristics of peds, clay films, horizon boundaries), high-resolution field magnetic susceptibility measurements and sampling were carried out along four different sections of the profile. Samples for luminescence dating were also taken, in order to establish the chronostratigraphical position of the paleosols studied. The comparison of various proxies revealed the differences in soil formation in a dynamic aggradational microenvironment for the same paleosol horizons located in various positions along the slope. Contrary to expectation, paleosols developed in local top or slope topographical positions did not display significant differences in e.g. in their degree of development, nor the characteristics of their magnetic susceptibility curves. In the case of paleosols in positions lower down the slope, signs of quasi-permanent sediment input could be recognized as being present as early as during the formation of the soil itself. This sediment input would seem to be surpassed in the case of pedogenesis strengthened by the climate of the last interglacial (marine isotope stage - MIS 5). Pedogenesis seems to be sustained by renewed intense dust accumulation in the Late Pleistocene, in MIS 3, though compared to MIS 5, the climate of MIS 3 did not favor intense pedogenesis. Despite the general belief that loess series formed in plateau positions can preserve terrestrial records without significant erosion, in the case of the Malá nad Hronom loess this is not so. Compared to the sequence affected by erosional events in the local top position, the sequence affected by quasi-continuous sediment input in the lower slope position seems to have preserved the soil horizons intact.
Principal component analysis
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