Can Elevation Predict Soil Texture?

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date

April 2016

Faculty Sponsor

Jen Pierce


Soils serve as a major reservoir for carbon in the critical zone. As carbon is a key component of many greenhouses gases, understanding the fluxes of carbon into or out of the soil would strengthen models of the carbon cycle and allow better predictions of future climate trends. Carbon is stored in soils in part in the form of inorganic compounds such as calcium carbonate (CaCO3), which are subject to erosion and deposition by fluvial and aeolian processes. However, the deposition rates of wind-blown (silt-sized) sediments are not well constrained. We examine soil textures in the Reynold’s Creek Experimental watershed to test the hypothesis that wind-blown sediments are preferentially deposited at higher elevations due to the baffling effect of increased vegetation.

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