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Initial stages of soil and clay mineral formation in glacier forefield

Abstract:

Knowledge about weathering rates and mineral transformation processes in soils is fundamental in analysing the reactivity of ecosystems. This research addresses the biogeochemical weathering processes in postglacial alpine areas. The study of soil chronosequences is an important tool on an empirical basis to derive weathering rates and the consequent formation or transformation of soil minerals. Previous investigations in Alpine areas indicated that weathering and mineral formation and transformation processes should theoretically be very fast at the beginning of soil formation. A chronosequence with young soils will be investigated in the Morteratsch proglacial areas of Morteratsch (Upper Engadine, Switzerland) and Damma (Central Switzerland). The investigations will give a detailed insight into the mechanisms and velocity of weathering processes (element denudation, mineral formations and transformations) with a high temporal (decades: 0 - 150 years) and spatial resolution.

Authors:

Plötze, Michael and Furrer, Gerhard and Egli, Markus

Index Terms:

ClayGroup; weathering; granite; Damma; Morteratsch; glacier; microbial; cyanide; Egli, Markus; Furrer, Gerhard; Plotze, Michael

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