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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 76 No. 5, p. 1828-1841
    Received: Dec 9, 2011
    Published: September 12, 2012

    * Corresponding author(s): pedolnu@uniss.it


Human-Altered and Human-Transported Soils in an Italian Industrial District

  1. Gian Franco Capra *a,
  2. Sergio Vaccaa,
  3. Emanuela Cabulaa,
  4. Eleonora Grillib and
  5. Andrea Buondonnob
  1. a Dipartimento di Scienze della Natura e del Territorio Università degli Studi di Sassari Via Colombo no. 1 08100 Nuoro, Italy
    b Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali II Università degli Studi di Napoli Via Vivaldi no. 43 81100 Caserta, Italy


In many Mediterranean regions industrial activities have drastically affected soil evolution. As a case study, reference is made to an important Chemical Industrial District of southern Italy (Sardinia). Its setting up and development resulted in the formation of human-altered and human-transported (HAHT) soils, largely through physical-mechanical excavation, transportation and rolling out the original soils (Palexeralfs, Haploxeralfs), as well as mixing and covering them with innocuous artifacts referred to as human-transported materials (HTM). On this basis, research began with a view to evaluating the anthropogenic processes in addition to the main morphological and physical–chemical characteristics of HAHT soils as compared with reference soils (RefS), their pedovariability and the classification of HAHT soils through Soil Taxonomy. The anthro-pedoturbation induced by mixing HTM to preexisting- presently buried- soils has dramatically disturbed the “natural” pedogenetic evolution, and driven the pro-isotropic processes leading the HAHT soils to much more simplified morphology and homogenization of chemical–physical features, with an impressive loss of pedovariability. They currently meet the requirements for a “mantle” classifiable as Alfic Xerarents, as an expression of the “entisolization” that induced a taxonomic shift from Alfisols to anthropogenic Entisols.

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Copyright © 2012. Copyright © by the Soil Science Society of America, Inc.