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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

The Morphology and Genesis of Some Alpine Soils in British Columbia, Canada: II. Physical, Chemical, and Mineralogical Determinations and Genesis1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 36 No. 1, p. 104-110
    Received: Mar 3, 1971
    Accepted: Sept 22, 1971

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  1. J. I. Sneddon,
  2. L. M. Lavkulich and
  3. L. Farstad2



The results of selected physical, chemical, and mineralogical analyses, carried out on five soils occurring in three alpine regions in British Columbia, Canada, are presented and discussed. An evaluation of the genesis of these soils is made in relation to the analytical results and to the literature.

The soils have developed on relatively young post-Pleistocene parent materials and are gravelly and have loamy sand to silt loam textures, in the fine earth fractions, the slight accumulations of silt and clay at the surface, are due primarily to more intense physical weathering and partly to surface additions of eolian material. Volcanic ash was found in the surface horizons at three of the sites.

Physical weathering is significant in these soils and chemical weathering is taking place as evidenced by the presence of spodic horizons, abundant amorphous iron and aluminum in all horizons, and the content of secondary minerals.

Several properties of these soils were correlated with total carbon contents and hence organic matter contents. Volcanic ash was believed to have had an influence, to a minor degree, on the soil properties where it occurred.

With sufficient leaching, soils with spodic characteristics develop. Under a coniferous or ericaceous vegetative cover Spodosols occur; however, under a cover of grasses, sedges, and forbs the spodic characteristics may be masked by organic matter accumulations in the surface mineral horizons.

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