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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Genesis of Natriborolls (Solonetzic) in a Closed Lake Basin in Saskatchewan, Canada


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 56 No. 3, p. 842-848
    Received: Sept 6, 1990

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. R. J. Heck and
  2. A. R. Mermut 
  1. Dep. of Soil Science, Univ. of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 0W0



Morphological and chemical characteristics of seven soils (Aquents and Borolls), crossing four successive terraces, were studied to understand the genesis of Natriborolls (Solonetzic) and associated soils in a closed lake basin in the Saskatchewan prairies. Formation of these terraces may be associated with major climatic changes during the Holocene. Based on zirconium/quartz ratios and field observations, frequent lithological discontinuities were identified in the profiles. These discontinuities have influenced the morphology and chemistry of the soils. Differences between the lake water and underlying artesian aquifer reflect the influence of more soluble and weatherable minerals in the basin's deposits. The concentration and composition of soil solutions, the degree of carbonate dissolution, and the amounts of gypsum changed with increasing elevation. The sequence of anion leaching observed was: Cl- > SO2-4 > HCO3- (or CO2-3). Lateral capillary flow from the lake is the major mechanism of salination, but a limited redistribution of efflorescent salts by wind also occurs in the basin. Due to the high inherent shrink-swell potential of the parent material, prismatic structure has formed at an early stage of profile development. Morphology of the soils on the younger terraces suggests that the eluvial horizons developed after the formation of the prismatic structure. The preservation of solonetzic morphology (stable columnar structure), despite changes in salinity, is attributed to the fine texture of the soil.

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