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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 55 No. 3, p. 772-777
    Received: Mar 1, 1990

    * Corresponding author(s):
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Soil Genesis Associated with Periglacial Ground Wedges, Laramie Basin, Wyoming

  1. L. C. Munn  and
  2. L. K. Spackman
  1. Dep. of Plant, Soil, and Insect Sciences, P.O. Box 3354, University Station, Univ. of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071
    Wyoming Dep. of Environmental Quality, Herschler Building, Cheyenne, WY 82002



Periglacial ground wedges, indicative of former dry permafrost environments during the Pleistocene, occur in the high basins of Wyoming. At a study site in the Laramie Basin in southcentral Wyoming, a comparison was made between a soil developed in a ground wedge and the soil that was host to the wedge. The wedge soil has accumulated clay (315 kg m−2), carbonate (171 kg m−2), and gypsum (155 kg m−2). Both the soils developed in the wedges and the soils in the wedge host are Borollic Natrargids, but the wedge soils are more coarsely textured and have lesser accumulation of carbonate than the host soil. Mineralogy of wedge and host soils is similar, including quartz, calcite, plagioclase, smectite, and illite. Gypsum accumulation is superimposed over carbonate- and clay-accumulation horizons in both soils. The wedges are thought to have been active in pre-Wisconsin time. Soil genesis in these soils indicates progressive accumulation of clay and carbonate. Gypsum accumulation has apparently accelerated during the Holocene in these soils.

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