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Abstract

The aim of the study was to compare the properties of soils developed from the Lower Triassic Buntsandstein sediments in the north-western part of the Holy Cross Mountains (Poland). These are deposits of continental genesis and unique features such as red beds. Two representative soil pedons - the Bartków profile (pBK) developed from clay and the Góra Czerwona profile (pGC) developed from sandstone were selected for detailed analyzes. The morphology of profiles, their micromorphological features, mineralogical composition, and physico-chemical properties were examined. Most of the properties of the soils are a consequence of the original parent rock lithology. A specific feature of the morphology of the soils are the presence of red color (about 10R by the Munsell color scale) related to the presence of hematite. As shown by the XRD data, hematite is not the product of the current soil-forming processes, but it is a lithogenic component, which was inherited from the parent rock. Under the influence of climatic factors primary rock structure has been transformed into a new pedogenic one. Soils developed from clays have a characteristic angular blocky structure. Micromorphological analysis showed that an important role in the formation of soil structure involves geogenic susceptibility of Triassic clays to specific cuboid disintegration. This is indicated by the pore system of planes as an orthogonal nets visible in thin section. The soils developed from sandstone have a weak (unstable) subangular blocky structure. The main reason is the insufficient dispersion of the clay-ferruginous fraction from the sandstone matrix. Microscopic observations indicate that fine factions occurs as loose microaggregates, which results in a feature that smaller rock fragments and individual quartz grains are not bonded into soil aggregates. The studied soils are characterized by specific physical-chemical properties. Some of them strongly depend on the mineralogical properties of the soil substrate. Strong acidity (pH 3-4) and a very low content of base cations (below 1.0 cmol(+) kg-1) are due to a lack of carbonate minerals in sandstones and weak weathering of aluminium silicate. High exchangeable Al content in clay (16.5 cmol(+) kg-1) should be related to the geochemical properties of the red bed-type rocks such as the Lower Triassic Buntsandstein deposits. Soils developed from the Lower Triassic Buntsandstein clays have a sequence of genetic horizons: Ap, Bw, Bw/C, C and fulfill the criteria assigned to dystrophic typical brown soils (BDt) in the Polish Soil Classification (PSC 2011), whereas in the WRB they were classified as Endoeutric Chromic Cambisols (Loamic). Soils developed from the Lower Triassic Buntsandstein red sandstone can be classified as dystrophic humus brown soil (BDpr) in the PSC (2011). Within the WRB classification that soil can be assigned to Epidystric Chromic Endoleptic Cambisols.

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