AS  Vol.8 No.6 , June 2017
Content, Density, Illuviation Mode and Depth of CaCO3 in Soils of Semiarid-Arid Qilian Mountains—An Altitude Sequence Study of the Hulugou Watershed
Abstract: The parental material of soils in the Qilian Mountains of northwest China is mainly aeolian loess containing CaCO3 which may remain in soils under the semiarid-arid climate. To disclose the CaCO3 characteristics change with the altitude and the terrain attributes, we surveyed 18 soil profiles in an altitude sequence from 3076 m to 4510 m in the Hulugou Watershed in the Qilian Mountains, measured CaCO3 contents of all genetic horizon samples, analyzed the densities, illuviation modes and depths of CaCO3 in the profiles, extracted values of the terrain attributes of the profiles including altitude slope, aspect, plane curvature, profile curvature and terrain wetness index (TWI) from the 90 m resolution SRTM3 DEM data on ArcGIS 9.3 platform. We found that CaCO3 weighted content of the profiles ranged from 1.30 g·kg-1 to 93.09 g·kg-1, CaCO3 density from 0.05 kg/m2 to 75.69 kg/m2, CaCO3 illuviation depth from 12 cm to 54 cm. CaCO3 illuviation modes could be divided into three types, i.e., no illuviation mode in which the profile has only A horizon or CaCO3 content < 5 g·kg-1, middle illuviation mode in which CaCO3 accumulated in a middle horizon, and down illuviation mode in which CaCO3 content increases with the depth. CaCO3 weighted content, density and illuviation depth had significant correlation with certain terrain attributes. In general, the altitude sequence is an effective way to study CaCO3 characteristics in the alpine region, and the data of terrain attributes which can influence the precipitation and its redistribution in soil are potential in predicting soil CaCO3 characteristics in the alpine region.
Cite this paper: Lin, K. , Li, D. , Zhang, G. , Zhao, Y. , Yang, J. , Liu, F. , Song, X. (2017) Content, Density, Illuviation Mode and Depth of CaCO3 in Soils of Semiarid-Arid Qilian Mountains—An Altitude Sequence Study of the Hulugou Watershed. Agricultural Sciences, 8, 479-491. doi: 10.4236/as.2017.86036.

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