Pedogenic evolution on the arid Bishop Creek moraines, eastern Sierra Nevada, California

Catena
By: , and 

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Abstract

Soil chronosequences on alpine moraine complexes have been used to help unravel the glacial histories of the eastern Sierra Nevada. The moraine sequence along Bishop Creek includes well-preserved moraines that have been previously dated using cosmogenic 36Cl surface exposure ages. The goal of this study was to interpret pedogenesis within a soil geomorphic context on these quantitatively dated moraines. Soil development, surface clast cover, and moraine morphology were studied on seven of the moraines, ranging in age from 15 to 170 ka. Older moraines had gentler slopes, broader crests, and decreased surface rock cover. Soils showed weak development across the chronosequence of moraines. Pedogenesis involved slight increases in clay, the formation of clay lamellae, development of a vesicular horizon in a surface layer of aeolian dust, and weathering of surface and subsurface granitic clasts. Soil reddening and structure development were minimal. Soil formation was likely inhibited by the arid to semi-arid climate and intermittent wind and water erosion during the time span of the chronosequence.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Pedogenic evolution on the arid Bishop Creek moraines, eastern Sierra Nevada, California
Series title Catena
DOI 10.1016/j.catena.2019.104222
Volume 183
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Earthquake Science Center
Description 104222, 14 p.
Country United States
State California
Other Geospatial Eastern Sierra Nevada
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