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Aeolian silt contribution to soils on mountain slopes (Mt. Ślęża, southwest Poland)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 October 2017

Jaroslaw Waroszewski*
Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Institute of Soil Science and Environmental Protection, Grunwaldzka 53, 50-357 Wroclaw, Poland
Tobias Sprafke
University of Bern, Institute of Geography, Hallerstrasse 12, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland
Cezary Kabala
Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Institute of Soil Science and Environmental Protection, Grunwaldzka 53, 50-357 Wroclaw, Poland
Elżbieta Musztyfaga
Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Institute of Soil Science and Environmental Protection, Grunwaldzka 53, 50-357 Wroclaw, Poland
Beata Łabaz
Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Institute of Soil Science and Environmental Protection, Grunwaldzka 53, 50-357 Wroclaw, Poland
Przemysław Woźniczka
Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Institute of Soil Science and Environmental Protection, Grunwaldzka 53, 50-357 Wroclaw, Poland
*Corresponding author at: Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Institute of Soil Science and Environmental Protection, Wroclaw, Poland. E-mail: (J. Waroszewski).


This paper evaluates the possible contribution of aeolian silt to soils of Mt. Ślęża (southwest Poland). Silt loam textures are common across Lower Silesia and are often confused with silt clay loam, especially at the outer boundaries with thin loess deposits. Eight study sites with different thicknesses of silt loam mantles that are covered and/or mixed with underlying sediments were examined in the field. To test our hypothesis, we analyzed the particle size and geochemistry of representative horizons. Concentrations of major and trace elements as well as their cross ratios confirmed the aeolian origin of silt loam materials and clearly distinguished them from basal sediments. There is a clear relationship between the presence and depth of aeolian mantles and mixing zones with the type of underlying material. Furthermore, the incorporation of aeolian silt to regoliths/soils was a main agent initiating and stimulating clay translocation leading to the formation of an argic horizon below the silt mantles. Mixing aeolian silt with acid granite regoliths and further illuviation resulted in the formation of alisols, while silt contributions to serpentine sediments resulted in development of skeletic luvisols. Soils receiving very weak input of aeolian silts remain as leptosols/cambisols.

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Copyright © University of Washington. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2017 

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This article has been updated since original publication. An erratum detailing this change was also published (doi:10.1017/qua.2017.102).


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