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Polish Journal of Soil Science
wydawca:Instytut Agrofizyki
im. B. Dobrzańskiego
PAN w Lublinie
ISSN: 0079-2985


vol. 44, nr. 2 (2011)

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Micromorphological properties of the fragipan horizon in albeluvisols of the Carpathian Foothills
Szymański W., Skiba S.
(pobierz wersję PDF)
Department of Pedology and Soil Geography, Jagiellonian University, Gronostajowa 7, 30-387 Cracow, Poland.

vol. 42 (2011), nr. 2, pp. 193-200
streszczenie: Fragipan horizon (Btx) is a natural, subsurface soil horizon showing higher bulk density and lower porosity in comparison with overlying soil horizons. As a consequence, the fragipan exhibits slow water permeability, which has a clear impact on the water retention ability of soils. It also significantly increases the rate of soil erosion. Primary objectives of the study included: 1) explanation of the genesis and evolution of the fragipan horizon in Albeluvisols of the Carpathian Foothills by means of micromorphological analyses, and 2) determination of micromorphological identification criteria of the fragipan horizon. The genesis of the fragipan horizon in Albeluvisols of the Carpathian Foothills is related to lessivage. Occurrence of vertical cracks and subsequent formation of bleached tongues along the cracks constitute evidence of degradation of the pan due to swelling and shrinking of the soil material, and intensive eluviation of weathering products into the lower part of the soil profile. Micromorphological identification criteria of the fragipan horizon in Albeluvisols of the Carpathian Foothills include: massive and channel microstructures; occurrence of vertical cracks; orientation of micromass around voids (porostriated b-fabric); lack or small amount of organic matter and roots; occurrence of clay bridges and fragmented pedofeatures (papules), as well as presence of depletion and impregnative hypocoatings together with iron nodules (mottled colour pattern).