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Title: Landscape Age as a Major Control on the Geography of Soil Weathering

Abstract

Global-scale models of rock-derived nutrient availability often assume that physical erosion drives soils toward an approximate “steady state” over geologic timescales. By definition, steady-state models do not represent landscape age—that is, the time elapsed since soil formation is initiated by major erosional or depositional events. We hypothesize that this steady-state assumption has large consequences on estimates of soil fertility because landscape age can mediate the retention of mobile elements in soil, particularly in low-relief landscapes and humid climates. We quantified the effect of landscape age on soil fertility by estimating Na retention in soils across the United States and explicitly resolving landscape age in regions that experienced significant deposition or glacial retreat after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). We then used a simple one-compartment model to simulate soil formation and weathering, comparing predictions that incorporated landscape age with those based on the steady-state assumption. We found that soils formed in LGM deposits in low-relief, humid settings generally retain 10 times more Na than soils formed outside of LGM deposits. Furthermore, the model that accounted for landscape age outperformed a steady-state model across the United States and increased globally averaged estimates of Na retention by 17%. These results reinforce the ideamore » that landscape age is a major control on weathering and should not be ignored in simulations of nutrient cycling.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [4]
  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
  2. Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN (United States)
  3. Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)
  4. Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1603237
Report Number(s):
LLNL-JRNL-795534
Journal ID: ISSN 0886-6236; 996926
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-07NA27344
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Global Biogeochemical Cycles
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 33; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 0886-6236
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; Weathering; Rock‐derived nutrients; Pedogenesis

Citation Formats

Slessarev, E. W., Feng, X., Bingham, N. L., and Chadwick, O. A. Landscape Age as a Major Control on the Geography of Soil Weathering. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1029/2019GB006266.
Slessarev, E. W., Feng, X., Bingham, N. L., & Chadwick, O. A. Landscape Age as a Major Control on the Geography of Soil Weathering. United States. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GB006266
Slessarev, E. W., Feng, X., Bingham, N. L., and Chadwick, O. A. Fri . "Landscape Age as a Major Control on the Geography of Soil Weathering". United States. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GB006266. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1603237.
@article{osti_1603237,
title = {Landscape Age as a Major Control on the Geography of Soil Weathering},
author = {Slessarev, E. W. and Feng, X. and Bingham, N. L. and Chadwick, O. A.},
abstractNote = {Global-scale models of rock-derived nutrient availability often assume that physical erosion drives soils toward an approximate “steady state” over geologic timescales. By definition, steady-state models do not represent landscape age—that is, the time elapsed since soil formation is initiated by major erosional or depositional events. We hypothesize that this steady-state assumption has large consequences on estimates of soil fertility because landscape age can mediate the retention of mobile elements in soil, particularly in low-relief landscapes and humid climates. We quantified the effect of landscape age on soil fertility by estimating Na retention in soils across the United States and explicitly resolving landscape age in regions that experienced significant deposition or glacial retreat after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). We then used a simple one-compartment model to simulate soil formation and weathering, comparing predictions that incorporated landscape age with those based on the steady-state assumption. We found that soils formed in LGM deposits in low-relief, humid settings generally retain 10 times more Na than soils formed outside of LGM deposits. Furthermore, the model that accounted for landscape age outperformed a steady-state model across the United States and increased globally averaged estimates of Na retention by 17%. These results reinforce the idea that landscape age is a major control on weathering and should not be ignored in simulations of nutrient cycling.},
doi = {10.1029/2019GB006266},
journal = {Global Biogeochemical Cycles},
number = 12,
volume = 33,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {11}
}

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