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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Soils Developed in Sediments from Late Quaternary Water Bodies in Northern New York1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 51 No. 3, p. 738-745
    Received: July 3, 1986

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  1. J. S. Kern and
  2. R. B. Bryant2



Extensive areas of soils in northern New York have formed in parent materials deposited in late Quaternary water bodies. In previous studies, distinctions among these lacustrine, marine, and brackish-water deposits have relied on the identification of fossils and continuous shoreline features; however, evidence of this kind is not always present. The morphology, mineralogy, and chemistry of a number of soils were characterized to determine whether differences in soil properties were attributable to the depositional environment and if soil characterization data are useful criteria for differentiating among soils developed in these deposits. X-ray diffraction was used to characterize clay-sized components. Standard soil characterization procedures were used to characterize soil chemical and physical properties. Soils formed in marine and lacustrine sediments were found to have similar mineralogies, dominated by vermiculite, illite, kaolinite, and interestratified clay minerals with lesser amounts of smectite, chlorite, and clay-sized quartz, feldspars, and amphiboles. Chemical differences between soils formed in lacustrine and marine sediments do reflect the chemistry of the depositional environments, and soil characterization data are useful for distinguishing among soils developed in these parent materials. The data support a westward influence of the Champlain Sea beyond where marine fossils have been found to date. The area appears to be contiguous with, and transitional to, freshwater drainage from the Ontario Basin. The data also support the presence of a brackish-water phase in the St. Lawrence Valley, and a water plane for this late Champlain Sea phase is postulated.

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