Comparing quartz silt surface microstructures in two sandy soils in young-glacial landscape of northern Poland

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The studies on quartz silt surface microstructures using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were performed in Brunic Arenosol and Gleyic Ortsteinic Podzol, as major components of soil cover of the lower supra-flood terrace of the Słupia River, N Poland. Brunic Arenosols have developed from coarse- and medium-grained fluvioglacial sands, whereas Podzols from aeolian sands of mid-Holocene age, which in some places were covered with younger aeolian deposits. A group of at least 100 randomly selected grains from each soil horizon have been analyzed. The grains were classified into one of the following groups: fresh (type A), grains with the features of chemical weathering (type B), grains coated with scaly-grain incrustations (type C), grains coated with bulbous incrustations (type D), and cracked grains (type E). Parent materials of the investigated soils did not differ significantly in terms of contribution of grain types and type C predominated in both soils. Significant differences were noted in soil solums. Grains covered by scaly-grained incrustations predominated in Brunic Arenosol, which constituted 62–89%. In the profile of Gleyic Ortsteinic Podzol grains type B predominated in AE and E horizons (65–82%), whereas in the remaining horizons grains type C (54–77%).

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