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Calcic, gypsic, and siliceous soil chronosequences in arid and semiarid environments

January 1, 1991

We studied three soil chronosequences in the western USA to compare the development of calcic, gypsic, and siliceous soils through time. We compared calcic soils from the Silver Lake playa, southeastern California, gypsic-calcic soils from the Kane Fans in Big Horn County, Wyoming, and siliceous-calcic soils from Forty-mile Wash in southwestern Nevada. In these areas, carbonate, gypsum, and opaline silica appear to be derived primarily from eolian additions and, in advanced stages typical of old soils, are dissolved and precipitated as diagnostic calcic or petrocalcic, gypsic or petrogypsic, and duripan soil horizons. These three precipitates produce somewhat similar morphologic characteristics through time. Morphological stages progress from discrete coatings under clasts, to matrix and around clasts, to significant coatings of clasts and cementation of matrix, to laminar caps above plugged horizons in cases of carbonate and silica. Significant differences among the three soil types include development of color, change of pH, and the depth to which the precipitates begin to accumulate. The tops of gypsic horizons occur below the tops of calcic horizons in simple leaching regimes; the depth to the tops of siliceous horizons is more closely related to the presence and development of argillic horizons.

Publication Year 1991
Title Calcic, gypsic, and siliceous soil chronosequences in arid and semiarid environments
Authors J. W. Harden, E. M. Taylor, M. C. Reheis, L. D. McFadden
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Index ID 70016301
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse