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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-2017-4
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-2017-4
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Original research article 01 Feb 2017

Original research article | 01 Feb 2017

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript for further review has not been submitted.

Isovolumetric replacement and aeolian deposition contributed to Terrae calcis genesis in Franconia (central Germany)

Bernhard Lucke1, Helga Kemnitz2, and Stefan Vitzethum1 Bernhard Lucke et al.
  • 1Institute of Geography, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Wetterkreuz 15, 91058 Erlangen, Germany
  • 2Helga Kemnitz, Katharinenholzstr. 33 B, 14469 Potsdam, Germany

Abstract. We investigated Terrae calcis on limestone and dolomite in Franconia, as well as the red fill of deep cracks in the rock (Karstschlotten). SEM images of the rock-soil transition zones supported by EDS found amorphous clays along fissures that could be products of metasomatic, authigenic clay neoformation within microfossils, calcite, and dolomite grains, or of replacing deposition of amorphous clays inside the calcite, probably due to percolating waters (illuviation). In the SEM-images, the replacement appears as exchange process characterized by substitution of Ca and Mg against Si, Al, and Fe. There is no crystalline clay deposited within rock fissures, and the transition between calcareous minerals and amorphous clay is gradual. This and the presence of Fe let it seem possible that plant roots play a major role for the transport of elements and neoformation of clays, similar to clay pavements along eucalyptus roots in Western Australia. In this context, more or less uniform Fe(d/t) ratios contradicting other weathering indicators could be the result of neoformed phyllosilicates containing Fe3+. Bulk soil and bedrock analyses indicate that the solum of the investigated Terrae calcis does mainly not represent insoluble bedrock residue. Dust deposition and bioturbation are evident due to sand grains coming from a loess surface cover, which buried pre-existing Terrae calcis and contributed to their substrate, apparently supplying quartz and clay-rich pseudosand aggregates.

Bernhard Lucke et al.
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Bernhard Lucke et al.
Bernhard Lucke et al.
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Short summary
There is no general agreement on the genesis of Cambisols on limestone (Terrae calcis), which limits the interpretation of these soils as environmental archives, in particular regarding the role of climate for their formation. We re-visited profiles of brown (Terra fusca) and red (Terra rossa) clays on limestone that had in the 1930s been suggested to have formed by metasomatism, and found that isovolumetric replacement of limestone by clay and aeolian deposition contributed to their genesis.
There is no general agreement on the genesis of Cambisols on limestone (Terrae calcis), which...
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