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A quaternary soil sequence in the Kennet Valley, central southern England



A quaternary soil sequence in the Kennet Valley, central southern England



Geoderma 23(2): 125-146



The field characteristics, texture, mineralogy and micromorphology of the soils of 4 chronologically separate river terraces of the River Kennet are described. The soils on the 3 uppermost terraces have illuvial (paleoargillic) horizons, which have been intensely disturbed by periglacial activity. These horizons are overlain by similarly disrupted eluvial horizons mixed with eolian silts derived from outside the Kennet catchment. The illuvial horizons most probably result from interglacial pedogenesis under climatic conditions warmer and wetter than at present, while the eolian material was probably added to the soils during the last glacial period (Devensian). The lowest and youngest terrace is characterized by an undisturbed (normal argillic) soil developed in loams derived predominantly from the eolian silts. Consequently, it is postulated that the soils of the lowest terrace owe their characteristics to a phase of postglacial pedogenesis. Several phases of pedogenesis can be recognized, which provide important information on the Quaternary development of the area. This is especially significant where floral, faunal, or archeological evidence of environmental changes is unavailable.

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Accession: 000586348

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DOI: 10.1016/0016-7061(80)90015-4


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