Lowe, D.J. & Tonkin, P.J. (2010). Unravelling upbuilding pedogenesis in tephra and loess sequences in New Zealand using tephrochronology. In Gilkes, R.J. & Prakongkep, N. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 19th World Congress of Soil Science, Soil Solutions for a Changing World, 1-6 August 2010, Brisbane, Australia (pp. 34-37).
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/5259
The genesis of soils developed in either tephra or loess on stable sites differs markedly from that of soils developed on rock because classical topdown processes operate in conjuction with geological processes whereby material is added to the land surface so that the soils form by upbuilding pedogenesis. Understanding the genesis of such soils (typically Andisols and Alfisols, respectively) often requires a stratigraphic approach combined with an appreciation of buried soil horizons and polygenesis. In New Zealand, calendrically-dated tephras provide an advantage for assessing rates of upbuilding through chronostratigraphy. Many Andisol profiles form by upbuilding pedogenesis as younger tephra materials are deposited on top of older ones. The resultant profile character reflects interplay between the rate at which tephras are added to the land surface and topdown processes that produce andic materials and horizons. In loess terrains, upbuilding pedogenesis since c. 25,000 years ago is associated with maximum rates of loess accumulation c. 3 10 mm per century, sufficiently slow for soil-forming processes to continue to operate as the land surface gradually rises. Thus, Alfisol subsoil features are only weakly developed and Bw or B(x) horizons typically are formed. In contrast, topdown pedogenesis is associated with minimal or zero loess accumulation, the land surface elevation remains essentially constant, and subsoil features become more strongly developed and Bg, Bt, or Bx horizons typically are formed.
This article has been published in Proceedings of the 19th World Congress of Soil Science, Soil Solutions for a Changing World, 1-6 August 2010, Brisbane, Australia.