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Testing a soil development model against southern Norway soil chronosequences
Sauer, D.; Finke, P.; Sorensen, R.; Sperstad, R.; Schulli-Maurer, I.; Hoeg, H.; Stahr, K. (2012). Testing a soil development model against southern Norway soil chronosequences. Quaternary International 265: 18-31. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.quaint.2011.12.018
In: Quaternary International. Elsevier: Oxford. ISSN 1040-6182; e-ISSN 1873-4553, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Sauer, D.
  • Finke, P., more
  • Sorensen, R.
  • Sperstad, R.
  • Schulli-Maurer, I.
  • Hoeg, H.
  • Stahr, K.

Abstract
    The first results of modeling soil development in marine sediments in S Norway using the model SoilGen are compared to measured properties of two soil chronosequences, on the western and eastern side of Oslofjord, respectively. The aim of this work is to test how well soil development under well-defined environmental conditions can be modeled. Such testing reveals to what degree soil-forming processes are understood, allowing formulation of adequate calculations reflecting these processes. The model predicts particle size distribution reasonably well, although clay depletion in the upper parts of the soils as a result of clay migration is overestimated. The model tends to underestimate contents of organic carbon and CEC in the A horizons: below, modeled CEC matches well with measured CEC. Base saturation is overestimated in the upper 40 cm and underestimated below. Apparently, leaching of bases proceeds less rapidly in reality than is predicted by the model, due to strong soil structure of the B horizons, causing preferential flow and base leaching around the aggregates, whereas bases inside the aggregates are only slightly affected by leaching. Difficulties and possibilities for improvements are identified, some related to model input data and some to the model itself. Input data could be improved by determining the amounts of organic carbon in organic surface horizons and by quantifying effects of bioturbation. A big challenge is the implementation of soil structure formation in the model. Quantitative data on the development of soil structure with time that can be included in a model are required. Amounts, distribution and connectivity of macro pores need to be defined for each stage of soil development, and zones of low and high base leaching need to be distinguished in the model for each time step. The long-term aim of this work is to model soil development with different sets of soil-forming factors, e.g. different climatic conditions in order to reliably predict soil development under different climate scenarios and related sets of soil-forming factors. The results of the first model runs and the identified possible improvements suggest that this aim is generally achievable.

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