THE IMPACTS OF TEMPORAL AND SPATIAL CLIMATIC CHANGES ON ALLUVIAL SOILS GENESIS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.
AuthorMCFADDEN, LESLIE DAVID.
KeywordsSoil formation -- California, Southern
Paleopedology -- California, Southern
Climatic geomorphology -- California, Southern
Soils and climate -- California, Southern
Committee ChairBull, William B.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractSeveral soil chronosequences were studied in southern California to determine the relative impacts of time and climatic change on soil genesis. Studying soil development in climatic regimes that vary from the moist, xeric climate of the coastal basins and Transverse Ranges to the hot, arid climate of the interior deserts of southern California provide data useful for evaluation of the impact of climatic change as well as time on pedogenesis. Seven distinctive stages of soil development are recognized in the study area. The first three occur in Holocene soils, and the last four are associated with late to mid-Pleistocene geomorphic surfaces. A distinct pattern of secondary soil mineral authigenesis is observed in increasingly older soils. The rapid formation of vermiculite and iron oxyhydroxides in xeric climates is attributed to rapid alteration of unstable Fe-bearing aluminosilicates. Continuous weathering of abundant feldspars results in a predominance of neogenetic kaolinite in mid-Pleistocene soils. Slightly acidic to mildly alkaline soil pH, rapid hydrolysis, and availablity of organic complexes result in formation of significant amounts of metastable ferrihydrite in young Holocene and late Pleistocene soils. Ferrihydrite dehydration and crystal aggregation result in hematite formation and increasingly lower Fe(,2)O(,3)o:Fe(,2)O(,3)d ratios. Arid climatic regimes are conductive to minimal chemical weathering. Clay/iron oxhydroxide regression analyses and mass balance calculations show that much of the silicate clay and secondary carbonate have been derived from external sources rather than by chemical weathering. Clay mineral authigenesis is characterized primarily by conversion of montmorillonite to palygorskite. A compartmental model developed in this study accurately predicts calcic horizon development under Holocene soil water balance characteristics. Results of model predictions indicate that the distribution of carbonate observed in latest Pleistocene soils is related to past changes in climate. In addition, mass balance calculations suggest that large decreases in chemical reaction rates in soils due to soil temperature decreases may well be offset by increases in the magnitude of weathering. However, the results of this study indicate that calcium carbonate provides the most sensitive index of past climates when compared to other indices and that temporal change in climate has significantly influenced soil development in southern California.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
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Neogene stratigraphy of the Fish Creek-Vallecito section, southern California : implications for early history of the northern Gulf of California and Colorado DeltaWinker, Charles David, 1952- (The University of Arizona., 1987)The Fish Creek-Vallecito section is the most stratigraphically complete and structurally intact Neogene exposure in the Salton Trough, and thus provides a useful reference section for regional stratigraphie revision and historical interpretation of the early Gulf of California and Colorado Delta. The section comprises a marine sequence (Imperial Formation) bracketed by nonmarine units (Split Mountain and Alverson Formations below, Palm Spring Formation and Canebrake Conglomerate above). Recognition of distinct suites of locally-derived and Colorado River-derived sediment, combined with sedimentological evidence, led to revision of this sequence in terms of informal members and geneticstratigraphic units: (1) pre-rift braided-stream deposits (2) syn-rift fanglomerates and volcanics, with local pre-marine evaporites; (3) pre-deltaic marine units, deposited primarily as small fan deltas; a progradational sequence of the ancestral Colorado delta, consisting of (4) an upward-shoaling marine sequence, and (5) a nonmarine deltaplain sequence; (6) lacustrine units; and (7) locally-derived basinmargin alluvium that interfingers with (4), (5) and (6). Neogene palinspastic base maps for paleogeographic mapping were based on displacement histories for the Pacific-North American plate boundary and its constituent faults. The tectonic-sedimentary history consists of: (1) early to middle Miocene rifting that propagated southward from southern California to the Gulf mouth; (2) northward marine transgression of the rift basin, reaching southern California by the late Miocene; (3) development of the San Andreas-Gulf of California transform boundary by inboard transfer of intraplate slip; (4) earliest Pliocene initiation of the lower Colorado River and Delta by rapid epeirogenic uplift of the Bouse Embayment; and (5) late Pliocene or Pleistocene transpressive uplift in the western Salton Trough caused by outboard transfer of slip from the San Andreas fault. The stratigraphic succession in the western Salton Trough resulted largely from tectonic transport through a series of paleoenvironments anchored to the North American plate by the entry point of the Colorado River.