Impact of landslides on soil characteristics: Implications for estimating their age

Show simple item record Eyndea, E. Van Dondeyne, S. Isabirye, Moses Deckers, J. Poesen, J. 2018-09-19T10:07:45Z 2018-09-19T10:07:45Z 2017
dc.description Article en_US
dc.description.abstract The slopes of Mount Elgon, a complex volcano at the border between Uganda and Kenya, are frequently affected by landslides with disastrous effects on the livelihood of its population. Since local people greatly depend on the land for crop production, this paper examines if and how fast physico-chemical characteristics in landslide scars recover. A chronosequence of 18 landslides covering a period of 103 years was sampled in order to explore differences between topsoil inside and outside landslide scars. For each landslide, two topsoil samples were taken within the landslide and two in nearby undisturbed soils to compare their physico-chemical characteristics. Samples inside the landslides were located at the transition zone between the depletion and accumulation zone, which is situated at the contact line between the plan concave and plan convex section of the landslide. No differences were found for available phosphorus, Ca2+, Mg2+ content or for the fine earth texture. Recent landslides had however lower content of soil organic carbon (OC) and K+, and higher content of rock fragments and Na+ than the adjacent soils. Soil OC content increased significantly with age and reached levels of the corresponding undisturbed soils after ca. 60 years. Older landslides had even higher OC contents than soils adjacent to the landslide. Hence landslide scars act as local carbon sink. We suggest that the occurrence of rock fragments in the topsoil is a useful indicator for mapping past landslides. Moreover, the difference in soil OC content between landslide scars and adjacent soil could be used for estimating the age of landslides in data-poor regions. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship VLIRUOS (TEAM Uganda 2013 ZEIN2013PR398). en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Elsevier en_US
dc.subject Chronosequence en_US
dc.subject Topsoil en_US
dc.subject Soil fertility en_US
dc.subject Soil organic carbon en_US
dc.subject Rock fragments en_US
dc.title Impact of landslides on soil characteristics: Implications for estimating their age en_US
dc.type Other en_US

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