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Soil Indicators of Paleoenvironmental Conditions in the South of the East European Plain in the Quaternary Time

Authors
  • Alekseev, A. O.1
  • Kalinin, P. I.1
  • Alekseeva, T. V.1
  • 1 Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems of Soil Science, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Institutskaya 2, Pushchino, Moscow oblast, 142290, Russia , Pushchino (Russia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Eurasian Soil Science
Publisher
Pleiades Publishing
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2019
Volume
52
Issue
4
Pages
349–358
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1134/S1064229319040021
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
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Abstract

AbstractClimatic conditions are an important factor affecting mineralogical and chemical compositions of soils and paleosols with the formation of paleosol archives that reflect major stages of the evolution of biogeosphere systems in the Quaternary period. In the steppe zone of the south of the East European Plain, two types of the “time capsules” storing information on paleoecosystems and paleoclimate of the Quaternary period are found. First, these are loess/paleosol complexes in coastal zone of the Sea of Azov and in the North Caucasus; their environmental records extend back into the Pleistocene for about 800 ka. Second, these are Holocene paleosols of archeological sites; they are buried under kurgans constructed in different periods of the Middle and Late Holocene. The completeness and reliability of paleoenvironmental reconstructions depend on the chosen study objects. For quantitative reconstruction of the environmental parameters in the past, independent methods based on the assessment and interpretation of soil solid-phase properties—magnetic. mineralogical, geochemical, isotopic, etc.—are to be applied. Detailed mineralogical study of paleosols coupled with the analysis of their organomineral complexes and variations in the concentrations of biophile and lithophile elements significantly increase the reliability of soil indicators of the paleoclimatic conditions. The sets of soil indicators obtained from the study of Holocene paleosols and loess/paleosol sequences in the Sea of Azov region allow us to estimate parameters of the paleoenvironment: paleotemperature, paleoprecipitation, and aridity of the climate.

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