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Sylwia Pindral and Marcin Świtoniak

Abstract

Soil erosion led to the severe transformations of the soil cover of young morainic areas of northern Poland. Main alterations are connected with soil truncation on summits and in upper part of slopes, whereas at foot slopes and within depressions colluvial material is accumulated. Information and knowledge about the extent or intensity of erosion are mainly derived from sophisticated geospatial models or laborious field works. To reduce the effort associated with development of studies on erosion the use of easily available cartographic sources is required. The main aim of the paper is an elaboration of key to reinterpret information taken from soil-agricultural maps in the context of determining the degree of pedons truncation. The study is based on a comparison of the properties of soils representing various classes of erosional alterations with the data on existing maps. The correlation between descriptions recorded in the form of cartographic symbols with properties of pedons divided into several classes of vertical texturecontrast soil truncation and results from potential erosion maps was elaborated. The application of developed interpretative principles allows calculating the share of soil truncation classes within investigated area. The five test plots (each - 1 km2) were located along the north slopes of Noteć Middle Valley and Toruń Basin. The proposed interpretation of soil-agricultural maps reveals their significant value in studies on extent and degree of erosional alterations recorded in soil cover.

Open access

Marcin Świtoniak

Abstract

Colluvial soils (in Polish: gleby deluwialne) are an important part of the soil cover in young morainic landscapes of northern Poland. They evolved as a result of the accumulation of eroded material at the foot of the slopes and bottoms of closed depressions. The aim of this study was to determine the systematic position of colluvial soils commonly found in the Chełmno and Brodnica Lake District, northern Poland. Ten soil pits located in different types of landscapes were selected for testing soil properties. The colluvial material is characterized by diversified properties: thickness, particle-size distribution, organic carbon content, color, pH, and base saturation. As a result, the investigated soils represent broad spectrum of typological units according to Polish Soil Classification (2011). Some of them contain epipedons mollic and meet the criteria of colluvial chernozemic soils. They were found mainly on buried black earths in areas with small slope inclinations. Many pedons contain pale colored acidic colluvial material with low base saturation and low organic carbon content and must be classified as other types: arenosols (in Polish: arenosole) or rusty soils (in Polish: gleby rdzawe). These soils occur mostly in areas with intensive relief and overlay the different soil types, including rusty soil and organic soils. They are formed as a result of soils lessivés and rusty soils truncation. An introduction of the additional units of “proper colluvial soils” which have epipedon ochric, and “rusty-colluvial soils” with endopedon sideric to the next edition of Polish Soil Classification would enable a more precise expression of the genesis of these soils in the type rank. Moreover, the definition of chernozemic colluvial soils could be extended to colluvial soils with umbric horizon. Classifying soils derived from colluvial material as soils of other types leads to the disappearance of this units on maps and underestimation of the impact of denudation on the soil cover.

Open access

Marcin Świtoniak, Cezary Kabała and Przemysław Charzyński

Abstract

The article presents proposed English translations of all names of soil units (orders, types and subtypes) listed by Polish Soils Classification, PSC (2011). The proposal has been elaborated based on the recent Polish and foreign literature, using uniform and consistent criteria. Due to the lack of soil names translation in the recent, fifth edition of PSC, the suggested English nomenclature was basically derived from the previous, fourth edition of PSC (1989). However, significant amendment and numerous additions to the latest version were proposed. A uniform and comprehensive system of soil taxa translations may help to avoid nomenclature chaos in the English papers of Polish authors, which intentionally base or refer to PSC.

Open access

Marcin Świtoniak, Dawid Augustyniak and Przemysław Charzyński

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to assess the quality and correctness of information on Polish soils available on selected websites. Particular attention was paid to educational portals, which became the subject of evaluation of the information its contains in terms of the correctness, up-to-dateness and reliability. Twenty-five websites representing educational portals and blogs were selected for analysis in terms of their contents (type of subject matter) correctness (substantial value), curentness (presence of up-to-date information) and completeness. Most of the information on the evaluated educational portals is targeted at high school students. These websites present only basic content. The most frequent issues on the analyzed portals were: soil types and soil systematics, distribution of soils in Poland, definition of soil and also soil valuation classes. Websites addressed to university students constitute a decided minority, could be said, that even an exception. One of those is article on Wikipedia, which has the highest educational value among all analysed websites.

Open access

Łukasz Mendyk, Marcin Świtoniak, Renata Bednarek and Adam Falkowski

Abstract

Construction and operation of water mills had influenced the transformation of the relief and water conditions, as well as the soil cover around them. The study area includes the former Oleszek mill pond basin, located near the Borówno village, western part of the Chełmińskie Lakeland, about 20 km northeast of Toruń. The objective of the study was to determine the genesis of the soils developed from the Oleszek mill pond basin sediments. Five soil profiles were selected in the basin of the former mill pond, within the 550 m transect located along the Struga Rychnowska river. All of the analysed soils developed from the sediments filling the former mill pond basin. They have been developed as a result of a number of overlapping processes such as mud-forming, alluvial, colluvial and gleyic process. According to the Polish classification system (Classification of Polish Soils 2011) (CPS) two of the soils (profiles 3 and 4) derived from organo-mineral and organic materials are typical organic limnic soils. Systematic position of another two soils (2 and 5) was proposed as muddy soils. Due to the problems of classification of such soils, implementation of the muddy soils or muddy-gleyic soils subtypes (in Polish: gleby mułowate lub mułowato-glejowe) should be considered during developing of the next update of Classification of Polish Soils. These four profiles were classified as Histosols (profiles 3 and 4) and Gleysols (profiles 2 and 5) in WRB (2014). Pedons developed from alluvial materials (alluvial soils in CPS 2011 or Fluvic Phaeozems in WRB 2014) occurred in the proximal part of the basin.

Open access

Łukasz Mendyk, Piotr Hulisz, Grzegorz Kusza, Marcin Świtoniak, Leszek Gersztyn and Barbara Kalisz

Abstract

This paper aims to assess the usefulness of magnetic susceptibility measurements in pedological studies of mill pond sediments. The study area includes the former Turznice mill pond basin located in the south-eastern part of the Grudziądz Basin. Four soil profiles were selected within the transect located along the longitudinal axis of the basin. The following soil properties were determined in the collected samples: bulk density, particle size distribution, pH, content of carbonates, approximate content of organic matter (LOI), total organic carbon (TOC), total nitrogen (Nt), and the pseudo-total contents of metals (Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, Pb, Ni, Cd). The obtained results were correlated with the specific (mass) magnetic susceptibility (χ). This study revealed that the variability of the soil cover in the basin was driven by different sedimentation conditions. The different composition of natural terrace deposits versus mill pond sediments has been well reflected in the magnetic properties. However, the possibility cannot be excluded that a pedogenic (gleyic) process is the key factor causing the vertical variability of magnetic properties in studied soils.

Open access

Cezary Kabała, Marcin Świtoniak and Przemysław Charzyński

Abstract

The recent editions of the Polish Soil Classification (PSC) have supplied the correlation table with the World Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB), which is the international soil classification most commonly used by Polish pedologists. However, the latest WRB edition (IUSS Working Group WRB 2015) has introduced significant changes and many of the former correlations became outdated. The current paper presents the closest equivalents of the soil orders, types and subtypes of the recent edition of the PSC (2011) and WRB (IUSS Working Group WRB 2015). The proposals can be used for general correlation of soil units on maps and in databases, and may support Polish soil scientists to establish the most appropriate equivalents for soils under study, as well as make PSC more available for an international society.

Open access

Łukasz Uzarowicz, Wojciech Kwasowski, Olga Śpiewak and Marcin Świtoniak

Abstract

Technogenic soils (Technosols) developed in an ash settling pond at the Bełchatów thermal power station, central Poland, were studied in order to identify soil property transformations over 30 years of pedogenesis. Standard pedological methods were applied in order to determine the properties of the studied samples. All investigated soils were classified according to WRB as Spolic Technosols with various supplementary qualifiers (Alcalic/Hypereutric, Arenic/Loamic, Protocalcic, Hyperartefactic, Immisic, Laxic, Ochric, and Protosalic). The studied materials can be arranged into a chronosequence starting from fresh (unweathered) ashes, by young Technosol BE1 (age: several months), up to older Technosols BE2 (about 20 years) and BE3 (about 30 years). The studies showed that weathering and soil-forming processes changed properties of ash in soil environment. Fresh ash was characterized by high pH (11.0 – fly ash, 8.7 – bottom ash), low content of carbonates (1.5% in both samples), variable concentrations of TOC (1.2% – fly ash, 6.9% – bottom ash), and very low total nitrogen content (0.04%). Electrical conductivity (ECe) was 2.6 and 2.1 dS·m−1 in fly ash and bottom ash respectively. Young Technosol BE1 had the pH 9.2–10.0, contents of carbonates were in the range 2.4–3.3%, TOC 1.3–1.7%, and total nitrogen less than 0.03%. ECe in young Technosol was in the range 2.7–4.0 dS·m−1. There was no plant cover present on that soil and no well-developed genetic horizons were distinguished in the profile. Finally, old Technosols BE2 and BE3 had lower pH (from 7.9 up to 9.1), and, in general, higher contents of carbonates (from 1.5 to 7.9%) than fresh ash and young Technosol BE1. Old Technosols contained high concentrations of TOC (up to about 38% in Oi horizon) and total nitrogen (up to 0.9%) in the topsoil, where O and A horizons developed due to accumulation of soil organic matter. ECe in old Technosols was in the range 0.8–1.5 dS·m−1. All studied ashes and soils were characterized by very low or even absence of total potential acidity. Base cations predominated in the sorption complex of the investigated ash and soils and can be arranged in the following order according to the abundance: Ca>Mg>K>Na. Base saturation (BS) of fresh ashes and Technosols was nearly 100%. The study shows that the first indicators of pedogenesis of the studied technogenic soils within the first 30 years of formation are: (1) changes of consistence of ash material from firm to friable/very friable due to root action, (2) accumulation of soil organic matter in the topsoil and formation of O and A horizons, (3) decrease of pH, (4) formation of pedogenic carbonates in soils and (5) decrease in soil salinity.