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Title: Soil-landscape interplays at Harmony Point, Nelson Island, Maritime Antarctica : chemistry, mineralogy and classification.
Authors: Rodrigues, William Fortes
Oliveira, Fábio Soares de
Schaefer, Carlos Ernesto Gonçalves Reynaud
Leite, Mariangela Garcia Praça
Araújo, Teodoro Gauzzi Rodrigues de
Bockheim, James G.
Putzke, Jair
Keywords: Cryosols
Ornithogenic soils
Issue Date: 2019
Citation: RODRIGUES, W. F. et al. Soil-landscape interplays at Harmony Point, Nelson Island, Maritime Antarctica: chemistry, mineralogy and classification. Geomorphology, v. 336, p. 77-94, jul. 2019. Disponível em: <>. Acesso em: 10 mar. 2020.
Abstract: Soils and landforms of Nelson Island remain one of the least studied in the South Shetlands Archipelago, despite that it is one of the oldest ice-free areas and is strongly vegetated. In this paper, we examine the main processes and factors of soil formation at Harmony Point and the relation of soils to landforms, vegetation and lithology. To achieve the goals, 26 pedons were collected and studied from a 4 km2 ice-free area at Harmony Point (S62°18′; W059°10′) on the southern area of Nelson Island (Maritime Antarctica). The soils were sampled on all representative local landforms, including three levels of uplifted marine terraces up to cryoplanated plateau, waterlogged depressions, rock felsenmeer, debris slopes and patterned ground, and a paraglacial border of the ice cap (270 m a.s.l). Sampling along the cryoplanated plateau was carried out along a gradient extending inland from the margins of the Ice Cap; and sampling of the marine terraces was performed along a chronosequence under varying bird-nesting influence and age. The main pedogenetic processes observed in this area are marked phosphatization, melanization from the accumulation of organic matter, and cryoturbation. Soil development varies from weakly developed, shallow, stony and cryoturbated to well-developed and organic-rich, phosphate soils with colors ranging from grayish to brown. The mineralogical composition of the clay fraction contains secondary minerals, indicating the active role of chemical weathering. Ornithogenic soils have mature phosphate minerals such as vivianite and taranakite, as well as poorly crystalline leucophosphite. Intensively cryoturbated soils are underlain by permafrost and are classified as Typic Haploturbels; polygonal soils are widespread on the cryoplanated plateau. Areas without permafrost were classified as Typic Gelorthents. Phosphatization is a dominant soil-forming process in this area and is associated with past and present-day guano accumulation by bird nesting and has led to the the development of deeper Ornithogenic Haplorthels. The ornithogenic soils occur at different topographic levels on the cryplanated platform and marine terraces. High P concentrations can be used as a proxy of the past nesting birds' activities, with far-reaching implications, especially with regards to vegetation growth and microbial activity and diversity.
ISSN: 0169-555X
Appears in Collections:DEGEO - Artigos publicados em periódicos

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