Spodosols

Authored by: Randall Schaetzl , Willie Harris

Handbook of Soil Sciences Properties and Processes

Print publication date:  November  2011
Online publication date:  November  2011

Print ISBN: 9781439803059
eBook ISBN: 9781439803066
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/b11267-64

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Abstract

Spodosols are soils that typify the process of podzolization; they are roughly equivalent to Podzols in older U.S. classifications schemes (Baldwin et al., 1938; Muir, 1961; Petersen, 1976, 1984; McKeague et al., 1983). (The term Podzol is still widely used in many classification schemes outside of the United States.) In the process of podzolization, soluble compounds of Al and organic matter, often accompanied by Fe and Si, are translocated from an upper, eluvial zone to a lower, illuvial zone. As a result, a typical Spodosol profile has a bleached E horizon overlying a dark, reddish to brownish Bs, Bh, and/or Bhs horizon(s). The process is best expressed in humid climates, under vegetation assemblages that tend to produce acidic litter. Spodosols are most extensive in cool-cold climates, but also are common in subtropical and tropical regions, where eluvial and/or illuvial zones can be quite thick and well expressed (Daniels et al., 1975; Thompson, 1992; Figure 33.58). These thick illuvial zones constitute a substantial pool of C (Holzhey et al., 1975; Stone et al., 1993), one that has not yet been definitively tallied in many estimates of global C stocks.

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