Micromorphological Evidences of Basalt and Volcanic Glass Weathering in Semi-arid Soils of Middle Alborz

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor Soil Science Department, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, College of Agriculture and Natural Resource, University of Tehran, Karaj-Iran

2 Professor, Soil Science Department, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, College of Agriculture and Natural Resource, University of Tehran, Karaj-Iran

3 MSc Student Soil Science Department, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, College of Agriculture and Natural Resource, University of Tehran, Karaj-Iran


As regards Iran is covered by many arid and semi-arid regions, the formation of soil-pedogenic features are very important and effective to have a better understanding of the topics of the soil sciences in these regions. Parent material is one of the main factors controlling soil properties in arid and semiarid regions. Basalt and volcanic glass are among igneous rocks that contain minerals susceptible to weathering minerals. Their weathering products are deposited as secondary minerals and different cations in the soil and the consumption of weathering products accelerate the weathering, soil formation and evolution during these processes. In this study, morphological and physicochemical properties of eight soil profiles formed on basalt rocks in semiarid region of middle Alborz were investigated and micromorphological properties were studied in six thin sections. Micromorphological observations showed different evidences of the occurrence of weathering processes. Formation of hypocoating and nodules of iron oxide and manganese, cubic microstructure and its evolution in different soils from semi-angular to angular cubic, layered clayey clusters indicating periodic deposition of this. Also, the layers were in favorable conditions, and the formation of a variety of pedogenic carbonate effects such as nodules, coating and hypocoating, cavities filled by micritic and sparite crystals were suggested alternating dry and wet periods, and the effect of these periods on progresses in weathering processes. One of the unanticipated consequences in the micromorphological study was the large volume of clay produced in some soil profiles due to the greater weathering intensity of volcanic glass.


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