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Soil Classification and Mapping on Pleistocene Lava Flows in the Mojave National Preserve

Authors: Richard Wagner*, University of Pittsburgh - Johnstown
Topics: Environmental Science, Arid Regions, Physical Geography
Keywords: Arid soil development, Cima volcanic field, Mojave Desert soil classification
Session Type: Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The field area within the Mojave National Preserve has minimal data pertaining to soil classification, specifically that formed on the Pleistocene lava flow K-Ar dated between 0.39-0.75 m.y. in the Cima volcanic field. Following such natural disasters in the desert environment, pedogenesis progresses at an extremely slow pace, raising question to whether horizons have formed atop the colluvium or within the vesicular basalt desert pavement. Analysis of soil morphology indicates a strong correlation between the percentage of vesicular basalt fragments in Vitrandic Calciargid soils, suggesting to directly impact the presence of native desert vegetation. Inversely, vegetation favors locations that have less than 35 percent vesicular basalt fragments in included in the soil which were classified as Petronodic Haplocalcid. Additionally, the origins of the parent material of these desert soils is unknown, driving the question of where the material that formed the soils originated.

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