عنوان مقاله [English]
Introduction: The optimum and sustainable use of soil is only possible with correct and complete understanding of its properties. The objectives of the present research were to study 1) genesis and development of soils related to different geomorphic surfaces in Kouh Birk Area (Mehrestan City), 2) Soil classification according to Soil Taxonomy (2014) and WRB (2014) systems, and 3) physicochemical properties, clay mineralogy and micromorphology of soils.
Materials and Methods: Mean annual rainfall and soil temperature in the selected location are 153.46 mm and 19.6 oC, respectively. From geological point of view, the studied area is a part of west and south west zones and Flysch zone of east Iran. Soil temperature and moisture regimes of this part are thermic and aridic, respectively. Eight representative pedons on different surfaces including rock pediment, mantled pediment, Alluvial fan and Upper terraces were selected, sampled, and described. Routine physicochemical analyses, clay mineralogy, and micromorphological observations performed on soil samples. Soil reaction, texture, electrical conductivity, calcium carbonate, and gypsum were identified. Four samples including Bt horizon of pedon 1, Bk1 horizon of pedon 4, By2 horizon of pedon 5 and Bk1 horizon of pedon 7 were selected for clay mineralogy investigations. Four slides including Mg saturated, Mg saturated treated with ethylene glycol, K saturated, and K saturated heated up to 550 oC were analyzed. A Brucker X-Ray diffractometer at 40 kV and 30 mA was used for XRD analyses. Undisturbed soil samples from Bt horizon of pedon 1, Bk2 horizon of pedon 2, Btn horizon of pedon 3, By2 horizon of pedon 5, Bk1 horizon of pedon 7, and By1 horizon of pedon 8 were selected for micromorphological observations. A vestapol resin with stearic acid and cobalt as hardener was used for soil impregnation. Bk-Pol petrographic microscope was used for micromorphology investigations.
Results and Discussion: Due to the presence of argillic and petrocalcic horizons in rock pediment, soils of this surface were more developed compared to other landforms. High amount of CaCO3 (39.5%) was observed in pedon 4 on rock pediment geomorphic surface which is attributed to calcareous parent material. The presence of argillic horizon in this geomorphic position is due to the more available water of the past climate. The maximum salinity was observed in the mantled pediments. Calcic over gypsic horizons formed in pedon 7 on alluvial fan surface due to higher solubility of gypsum than calcium carbonate. Kaolinite, illite, chlorite, and palygorskite clay minerals were found in pedons 1 and 4 on rock pediment. Palygorskite in this position seems to be pedogenic, but kaolinite, illite, and chlorite are inherited from parent material. Mantled pediment and alluvial fan showed smectite, kaolinite, illite, chlorite, and palygorskite clay minerals. Pedogenic smectite in this position is probably formed from weathering of illite and chlorite. On the other hand, palygorskite stability decreased in mantled pediment surface. This is the reason why smectite was the dominant clay mineral in this landform. Clay and calcite coatings were investigated in Bt horizon of pedon 1 (rock pediment). Coatings and infillings of calcite in Bk2 horizon of the same geomorphic position caused a calcic crystallitic b fabric. A diffused clay coating due to the presence of Na in Btn horizon of pedon 3 in rock pediment was observed. Micromorphological observations of By2 horizon in pedon 5 (mantled pediment) showed gypsum interlocked plates and gypsum infillings. Interlocked plates formed due to re-solubility of gypsum crystals. Micro spars and infillings of calcite are among dominant pedofeatures found in Bk1 horizon of pedon 7 (alluvial fan geomorphic surface). A calcic crystallitic b fabric and Primary calcite mineral were also observed in this pedon. Release of Ca from calcareous parent material caused Ca+2 to SO4-2 ratio to be increased which could be a probable source of gypsum formation. Results of the study showed that more and less developed soils formed on rock pediment and upper terrace geomorphic surfaces, respectively. Illuviation of clay, gypsum, and CaCO3 together with formation of cambic, calcic, petrocalcic, gypsic, argillic, and natric horizons were among the dominant pedogenic processes in studied soils. Paleosols containing Bt horizons were only observed on rock pediment geomorphic surface. Kaolinite, illite, chlorite, and palygorskite clay minerals were observed in almost all surfaces. Smectite was not discovered in rock pediment, but was only investigated in mantled pediment and alluvial fan which could be attributed to higher available moisture of formation time in these surfaces. Secondary calcite and gypsum caused stability of pedogenic palygorskite in soils under study. Micromorphological observations proved the presence of clay and calcite coatings, calcite and gypsum infillings, and gypsum interlocked plates. Gypsum pedofeatures were not observed in rock pediment, but clay and calcite pedofeatures were only found. On the other hand, clay and calcite pedofeatures were not observed in upper terraces and gypsum pedofeatures were the only features determinded in this position.
Conclusion Results of the present research showed that difference in soil characteristics is highly affected by geomorphology.