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Comparison and Contrast of Processes of Soil Formation in the San Timoteo Badlands with Chronosequences in California

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Katherine J. Kendrick
Affiliation:
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87131
Leslie D. McFadden
Affiliation:
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87131

Abstract

The degree of soil development associated with geomorphic surfaces in the San Timoteo Badlands area (STB), California allows correlation of the surfaces. Soil development indices, based on field descriptions and laboratory analysis, provide a basis for comparison of these soils to each other and to dated soil chronosequences at Cajon Pass, Merced, and Anza, California. The soils in this study record a complex tectonic and climatic history, include preserved surfaces intermediate in soil development to those at Cajon Pass, and do not preserve a record of the major late Pleistocene to early Holocene aggradational event observed elsewhere in the region. Pedogenesis is similar to that of regional soils in southern California. With time, the profiles develop progressively thicker argillic horizons, and they increase in redness, clay, and secondary iron oxide content, and amount and thickness of clay films. With increasing soil age the ratio of dithionite-extractable Fe to total Fe increases, while the ratios of Fe2+to Fe3+and of oxalate- to dithionite-extractable Fe decrease. These trends are more subdued in the STB than elsewhere in the region, perhaps because the slightly higher temperature and lower precipitation of the STB may slow the rate of transformation of ferrihydrite to hematite. We use weighted means of soil development indices and rubification index values to compare the soils of this study to those at Cajon Pass, Merced, and Anza. Wide-range age estimates using the maximum limits of these values result in 27,500–305,000 yr for surface Q1, 43,000–570,000 yr for surface Q2, and 300,000–700,000 yr for surfaces Q3 and Q4. Weighing most heavily the nearest dated chronosequences, Anza and Cajon Pass, yields best estimates of age. This method constrains the time of formation of the Q1 surface to between 27,500 and 67,000 yr and the Q2 surface to 43,000–67,000 yr, and does not change the age estimates of the older surfaces.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
University of Washington

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