Soil and Topography Studies

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Introduction. I strongly agree with Sommer & Schlichting, 1997 quote “Studying soils along a slope is one of the simplest, yet most elegant ways to discern spatial interrelationships between soil and topography”. Various factors are responsible for the difference in soil characteristics and pattern along a slope. The aim of this assignment is to demonstrate the credibility of this statement by providing relevant information about the different processes along topography that affects the soil and thus enable readers to value the statement. The catena concept is a framework that ties everything together when studying the relationship between soil and topography. The catena. According to Shaetzl & Anderson, 2005:469, “A catena is a transect of soils from the top to the base of a hill, perpendicular (or nearly so) to the contour lines”. The concept asserts that a set of soils has been formed from the same parent material but vary along the topography as a result of drainage and relief (Brady & Weil, 1999: 760). It also considers the soil to be a dynamic open system with inputs, processes and outputs. The catena itself is separated into 4 distinct zone namely the Flatter upland(Plateau), Shedding (Degrading or eluviation) zone , Transfer (Translocation) zone and the Receiving ( Accumulation or iluviation) zone each having its own discrete characteristics as illustrated by figure.1 (Waugh, 2009: 276). Figure.1 shows a catena: The relationship between soil type and slope (Waugh, 2005: 261) Catenary differentiation. The variations in soil down a slope are as a result of slope gradient changes as well as the drainage characteristics (Gerrard, 1981:62). The amount of precipitation, cloud cover and wind is highest on the upper slope (W... ... middle of paper ... ...ndon: George Allen & Unwin Ltd. 5. ISRIC. 2014. Luvisols. ISRIC. [Online].Available:http://www.isric.org/about-soils/world-soil-distribution/luvisols [Accessed 16 March 2014]. 6. Nortcliff, S. (n. d). Soils of Cold and Temperate regions. Land Use, Land Cover and Soil Science. [Online].Available: http://www.eolss.net/sample-chapters/c19/E1-05-07-15.pdf [Accessed 16 March 2014]. 7. Schaetzl, E. & Anderson, S. 2005. Soils: Genesis and Geomorphology. 1st Edition. New York: Cambridge University Press. 8. Waugh, D. 2009. Geography: An integrated Approach. 4th Edition. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes Ltd. 9. Young, A. 1976. Tropical Soils and Soil Survey. 1st Edition. New York: Cambridge University Press. 10. Unknown, (n. d). Slopes. [Online] Available:http://sageography.myschoolstuff.co.za/geogwiki/grade-11-caps/grade-11-caps-geomorphology/slopes/# [Accessed 16 March 2014].
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