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Soil macro and microfeatures at the southern margin of the saline Gallocanta Lake (NE Spain)

AuthorsCastañeda del Álamo, Carmen ; Romeo Gamarra, Raquel ; Rodríguez-Ochoa, Rafael
hydric soils
Issue DateJul-2012
CitationProceedings of 14th International Working Meeting on Soil Micromorphology (Lleida, 10 julio 2012), pp 68-71.
AbstractThe preservation of many saline wetlands is hampered by poor knowledge and by agricultural intensification. The development of strategies for wetland protection requires delimitation and thematic maps of soils and vegetation. The aim of the present study is to characterize the soils of Gallocanta Lake, NE Spain, at the interface of wetlands and agriculture. The southern margin of the lake was sampled following changes of vegetation and soil surface color along a transect extending from the shoreline to the agricultural plots. Soils have a high carbonate content (35% mean), low gypsum, and are dominant medium - coarse in texture. The interface between wetlands and agriculture is characterized by a strong gradient of soil salinity (0.4 to 87.0 dS m-1) which increases towards the upper horizons. Mg / Ca ratios of up to 8 occur in shoreline profiles. Carbonate-rich grey horizons are present in the studied profiles indicating past lacustrine environments at different topographic positions outside the current lake floor. Their alternation with detrital materials is evidenced of the mixture of lacustrine and fluvial processes due to the water level fluctuations of the playa-lake. Micromorphological features of these horizons, together with chemical and textural characteristics, allow the identification of correlatable pedofeatures and environmental conditions associated with the hydric changes of the playa-lake. The studied features can be used to diagnose hydric soils, to recognize current and relict wetland soils, and to understand the pedogenic processes of these materials.
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