عنوان مقاله [English]
Introduction Landscape represents a large portion of land/terrain that is either formed by a repetition of similar or dissimilar relief/molding types or an association of dissimilar relief/molding types (e.g., valley, piedmont, mountain, etc.). It is usually affected by a set of natural (e.g., climate, organisms, parent material, topography, time, erosion, sedimentation, etc.) and/or artificial (e.g., artifacts) factors. Soil is one of the most important components of landscape that is affected by various factors such as water and wind. Aeolian or alluvial sediments (from seasonal rivers) in arid areas cause the formation of different landforms and change the landscapes in these areas. Therefore, the study of geoforms in arid regions can lead to a better understanding of geomorphological processes and soil change in these areas. There are various methods, including soil micromorphology and clay mineralogy, to understand the alteration of landscapes and the soils change on them. The aim of this study was to investigate the physical and chemical properties, clay mineralogy and micromorphology of soils in various geomorphic units of Davaran Region, Rafsanjan.
Materials and Methods Seven dominant geomorphic units (geoforms) of the region, including pediment, margin of fan and cultivated clay flat, alluvial fan, desert pavement, margin of pediment and sand sheet, active drainage, margin of fan and uncultivated clay flat were selected using Google Earth images and field studies. Nineteen pedons were excavated and described in the geomorphic units. After selecting a representative pedon in each of the geoforms, their genetic horizons were sampled. Besides, in order to conduct soil micromorphology studies, undisterbed and oriented samples were collected from selected horizons. After transferring the samples to the laboratory, their physical and chemical properties were measured using standard methods. In addition, clay mineralogy studies were performed by X-ray diffraction method and micromorphological studies were done using a petrographic microscope. Finally, soil classification was performed based on both Soil Taxonomy (2014) and WRB (2015) systems.
Results and Discussion Results showed that gypsification and calcification are the dominant soil forming processes in the studied region, which have led to the formation of Gypsic and Calcic horizons. This has placed the soils in the Gypsids and Calcids suborders based on the Soil Taxonomy system and the Gypsisols and Calcisols reference soil groups according to WRB system. The representative pedon in the margin of fan and cultivated clay flat (pedon 2) geoform lacks a salic horizon based on the Soil Taxonomy; while it is in the Solonchak reference soil group of the WRB. Also, the presence of argillic horizon in the representative pedon of the margin of fan and uncultivated clay flat geoform (pedon 7) indicates presence of a more humid paleoclimate in the history of the region. The results of clay mineralogy showed that the predominant minerals in the region include chlorite, illite, kaolinite, and smectite. The illite, chlorite, and kaolinite are inherited from papent materials of the soils, and the smectite has a transformation origin (from palygorskite and illite). Addition of this mineral by aeolian or alluvial sediments could not also be neglected. The micromorphological results indicated that the soil pores were mainly chamber. The presence of carbonates and gypsum in the studied soils has caused that the b-fabric in the most horizons to be Calcitic Gypsic Crystallitic. Gypsum was observed in the form of vermicular, lenticular, interlocked gypsum plates and subhedral shapes. Other pedofeatures in the studied soils include calcite nodule and limestone.
Conclusion The simultaneous presence of aeolian and alluvial sediments in the different geoforms of Davaran region has caused the formation of stratified soils. Existence of dry climate and lack of significant vegetation in the region from one hand, and the addition of different sedimentary layers at different times (which causes soil rejuvination) on the other hand, has caused that the soils of the region, in general, not to be highly developed. As a result, few differences were observed among soils in different geoforms. Comparing the results of two soil classification systems for the studied soils showed that in general there is a relatively good correlation between them. Totally, the role of climate and parent material in alteration of the studied soils is evident; so that the physical and chemical properties, clay mineralogy and micromorphology of soils in different geoforms have been affected.