Chemical weathering of the middle Vistula and Żuławy (Vistula delta) alluvial soils
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Katedra Gleboznawstwa, SGGW w Warszawie, Polska
Józef Chojnicki   

Katedra Gleboznawstwa, SGGW w Warszawie, Polska
Submission date: 2022-10-08
Final revision date: 2022-11-26
Acceptance date: 2022-12-11
Online publication date: 2022-12-12
Publication date: 2022-12-20
Soil Sci. Ann., 2022, 73(3)157349
The aim of the study was to investigate the intensity of chemical weathering in arable alluvial, currently unflooded soils of the middle Vistula valley from Puławy to Płock (5 profiles) and in the area of Żuławy (3 profiles). According to the IUSS systematics (IUSS Working Group WRB, 2022), the soils were classified as Eutric Fluvisols, Eutric Gleyic Fluvic Cambisol, Gleyic Fluvic Phaeozems and Gleyic Fluvisols. The soils of the middle Vistula showed respectively mainly light loam texture and clayey silt from Żuławy area. The total content of aluminum, calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium was determined by X-ray fluorescence (XRF) in soil samples (particles <2 mm in diameter), while basic soil analyses were performed with methods commonly used in soil science. The averages and ranges of the chemical weathering indices values in the Vistula valley and Żuław alluvial soil profiles were Chemical Index of Alteration (CIA) – 64.7 (56.1-80), Harnois’s Chemical Index of Weathering (CIW) – 75.7 (67.3-90.5), Plagioclase Index of Alteration (PIA) – 57.9 (44-77.4), Weathering Index of Parker (WIP) – 25.8 (8.8-36.7) and Vogt’s Residual Index (V) – 2.3 (1.8-3.1). The indices reached slightly higher values in the soils of Żuławy than in the middle of the Vistula. The tested soils showed slight weathering determined by the values from 60 to 70 of the most commonly used CIA index. However, the average value of this index in the soils of the middle Vistula slightly exceeded the lower value of this range, while in the soils of Żuławy it was close to the upper value. The gley soil-forming process caused by groundwater, taking place in most soils, increased the intensity of chemical weathering in the horizon of iron compounds accumulation. Meanwhile, the humus accumulation, poorly advanced cambisol development and leaching soil-forming processes did not increase the values of chemical weathering indices. The weathering indices showed a slight weathering variation of the examined soils in the cross-section of their profiles and along the Vistula valley, despite the diversity of climatic conditions during the Holocene period and the geological structure of the middle Vistula and Żuławy catchments.
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