Pedogenesis of Vesicular Horizons in Disturbed Soils.
Maureen Yonovitz and Patrick Drohan. UNLV, 4505 Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV 89154-4010
Increasing desertification and anthropogenic soil disturbance is of growing concern to restoration ecologists in the Southwestern United States. This study examines how a common soil horizon of arid lands, the vesicular horizon, responds to disturbances. The vesicular horizon is typically composed of fine grained windblown material that could be potentially hazardous if disturbed; resulting dust emitted into the air adds to respiratory health and environmental problems in arid regions. We hypothesize that the re-formation of vesicular horizon porosity in disturbed soils is affected by their prior (undisturbed) physical and chemical characteristics. This research presents results reflecting differences in vesicle re-formation due to particle size, calcium carbonate content, mineralogy (XRD) and pore micromorphology (SEM). In addition, results of compositional and morphological differences between disturbed and undisturbed vesicles are presented.