In this paper we present new data on weathering and soil formation processes affecting alkaline pillow basalts on the summit of Mt. Cerviero (Calabria, southern Italy). We investigated two representative soil profiles using an integrated approach, including pedological, petrographic, mineralogical and geochemical investigations. We distinguished the main features inherited from the hydrothermal alteration of the pillow basalts in a submarine environment from the chemical weathering processes under meteoric conditions. Irregular geochemical patterns and chemical index of alteration values across the soil profiles indicate a lithological discontinuity between the bedrock and the upper soil horizons, as a response to soil rejuvenation, in turn controlled by erosive processes and an allochthonous pyroclastic input. The soil profiles display poor horizonation and an incipient to intermediate degree of weathering, in line with the clay mineralogy (chlorite or hydroxy-interlayered vermiculite, illite, kaolinite and varying mixed-layers). The degeneration microtextures of clay and iron-manganese coatings in one soil profile suggest their relict genesis, with an emplacement under warm-humid conditions during the last interglacial. A Late Pleistocene to Holocene age of soil development is supported by the trachytic composition of volcanic micropumices, correlated to explosive eruptions from the Campania Province or the Aeolian Islands, in both soil profiles. Geochemical indices obtained from selective extractions of pedogenetic Al, Fe and Si pools point to poor andic properties with humus-Al-complexes prevailing over short-range order minerals. Nonetheless, the latter are consistent with the presence of volcanic glass, an optically isotropic pedogenic matrix and the Andosol-like field features of the soil profiles, even if they developed in a non-volcanic area. This should lead to a partial reassessment of the volcanic versus non-volcanic origin of certain Andosols worldwide and claims a good field work as a basis for choosing the best-suited laboratory methods to fill the gap between ordinary lab and field results.

Role of weathering of pillow basalt, pyroclastic input and geomorphic processes on the genesis of the Monte Cerviero upland soils (Calabria, Italy)

Tangari A. C.
;
Marinangeli L.;Pompilio L.
2018

Abstract

In this paper we present new data on weathering and soil formation processes affecting alkaline pillow basalts on the summit of Mt. Cerviero (Calabria, southern Italy). We investigated two representative soil profiles using an integrated approach, including pedological, petrographic, mineralogical and geochemical investigations. We distinguished the main features inherited from the hydrothermal alteration of the pillow basalts in a submarine environment from the chemical weathering processes under meteoric conditions. Irregular geochemical patterns and chemical index of alteration values across the soil profiles indicate a lithological discontinuity between the bedrock and the upper soil horizons, as a response to soil rejuvenation, in turn controlled by erosive processes and an allochthonous pyroclastic input. The soil profiles display poor horizonation and an incipient to intermediate degree of weathering, in line with the clay mineralogy (chlorite or hydroxy-interlayered vermiculite, illite, kaolinite and varying mixed-layers). The degeneration microtextures of clay and iron-manganese coatings in one soil profile suggest their relict genesis, with an emplacement under warm-humid conditions during the last interglacial. A Late Pleistocene to Holocene age of soil development is supported by the trachytic composition of volcanic micropumices, correlated to explosive eruptions from the Campania Province or the Aeolian Islands, in both soil profiles. Geochemical indices obtained from selective extractions of pedogenetic Al, Fe and Si pools point to poor andic properties with humus-Al-complexes prevailing over short-range order minerals. Nonetheless, the latter are consistent with the presence of volcanic glass, an optically isotropic pedogenic matrix and the Andosol-like field features of the soil profiles, even if they developed in a non-volcanic area. This should lead to a partial reassessment of the volcanic versus non-volcanic origin of certain Andosols worldwide and claims a good field work as a basis for choosing the best-suited laboratory methods to fill the gap between ordinary lab and field results.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/707074
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