Desert Soils

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In contrast to wetter areas, where soil mantles of pedogenically altered decomposed bedrock cover most or all of the landscape, the surfaces of deserts may be only patchily covered with soil. The surface over many desert uplands is formed of outcropping bedrock, and in lower-lying areas there may be a cover of aeolian or fluvial sediments so little modified that it hardly amounts to ‘soil’ by any common definition (e.g. many fall into the entisol order of the US system of taxonomy). In semi-arid areas, the effects of pedogenesis become more apparent, and a richer array of soil types has been described from these environments. Factors that contribute to climatic gradients in soil properties include various climatic factors such as rainfall and temperature, and also increasing biomass and larger accessions of organic detritus in humid environments. Rainfall in drylands tends to decline with distance from the ocean. Mean rates of rainfall decline are often around 1 mm/km, but the trend is really exponential in form and regressions show that the rainfall declines by 50% over distances of about 400 km. In addition to driving a decrease in plant cover, this pattern of diminishing rainfall results in less intense leaching of dryland soils, and consequently quite steep regional gradients in dryland soil properties occur. In areas of extensive forest, rainfall decline with distance inland is much less evident owing to the biotic recycling of precipitation, and biomass and soil properties vary less steeply.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArid Zone Geomorphology
Subtitle of host publicationProcess, Form and Change in Drylands
EditorsDavid S G Thomas
Place of PublicationChichester UK
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
Chapter7
Pages101-129
Number of pages29
Edition3
ISBN (Electronic)9780470710777
ISBN (Print)9780470519080, 9780470519097
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2011

Keywords

  • Behaviour and environments of BSCs - on north- and south-facing dune flanks in Hallamish dune field, Israel
  • Biological soil crusts' effects - on infiltration and overland flow
  • Desert soils
  • Dryland soil surfaces, properties - different from deeper subsurface, raindrop energy having no effects
  • Drylands, and soil infiltrability - locally, very low
  • Major soil orders - of arid and semi-arid regions
  • Marked differences in hydrologic role of soils - in drylands and in humid zones
  • Nutrient status, or desert soil cropping potential
  • Rock and soil nich classification - inhabited by desert microorganisms
  • Spatial heterogeneity of desert soils

Cite this

Dunkerley, D. L. (2011). Desert Soils. In D. S. G. Thomas (Ed.), Arid Zone Geomorphology: Process, Form and Change in Drylands (3 ed., pp. 101-129). Chichester UK: John Wiley & Sons. https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470710777.ch7
Dunkerley, David L. / Desert Soils. Arid Zone Geomorphology: Process, Form and Change in Drylands. editor / David S G Thomas. 3. ed. Chichester UK : John Wiley & Sons, 2011. pp. 101-129
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Dunkerley, DL 2011, Desert Soils. in DSG Thomas (ed.), Arid Zone Geomorphology: Process, Form and Change in Drylands. 3 edn, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester UK, pp. 101-129. https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470710777.ch7

Desert Soils. / Dunkerley, David L.

Arid Zone Geomorphology: Process, Form and Change in Drylands. ed. / David S G Thomas. 3. ed. Chichester UK : John Wiley & Sons, 2011. p. 101-129.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

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AU - Dunkerley, David L.

PY - 2011/3/13

Y1 - 2011/3/13

N2 - In contrast to wetter areas, where soil mantles of pedogenically altered decomposed bedrock cover most or all of the landscape, the surfaces of deserts may be only patchily covered with soil. The surface over many desert uplands is formed of outcropping bedrock, and in lower-lying areas there may be a cover of aeolian or fluvial sediments so little modified that it hardly amounts to ‘soil’ by any common definition (e.g. many fall into the entisol order of the US system of taxonomy). In semi-arid areas, the effects of pedogenesis become more apparent, and a richer array of soil types has been described from these environments. Factors that contribute to climatic gradients in soil properties include various climatic factors such as rainfall and temperature, and also increasing biomass and larger accessions of organic detritus in humid environments. Rainfall in drylands tends to decline with distance from the ocean. Mean rates of rainfall decline are often around 1 mm/km, but the trend is really exponential in form and regressions show that the rainfall declines by 50% over distances of about 400 km. In addition to driving a decrease in plant cover, this pattern of diminishing rainfall results in less intense leaching of dryland soils, and consequently quite steep regional gradients in dryland soil properties occur. In areas of extensive forest, rainfall decline with distance inland is much less evident owing to the biotic recycling of precipitation, and biomass and soil properties vary less steeply.

AB - In contrast to wetter areas, where soil mantles of pedogenically altered decomposed bedrock cover most or all of the landscape, the surfaces of deserts may be only patchily covered with soil. The surface over many desert uplands is formed of outcropping bedrock, and in lower-lying areas there may be a cover of aeolian or fluvial sediments so little modified that it hardly amounts to ‘soil’ by any common definition (e.g. many fall into the entisol order of the US system of taxonomy). In semi-arid areas, the effects of pedogenesis become more apparent, and a richer array of soil types has been described from these environments. Factors that contribute to climatic gradients in soil properties include various climatic factors such as rainfall and temperature, and also increasing biomass and larger accessions of organic detritus in humid environments. Rainfall in drylands tends to decline with distance from the ocean. Mean rates of rainfall decline are often around 1 mm/km, but the trend is really exponential in form and regressions show that the rainfall declines by 50% over distances of about 400 km. In addition to driving a decrease in plant cover, this pattern of diminishing rainfall results in less intense leaching of dryland soils, and consequently quite steep regional gradients in dryland soil properties occur. In areas of extensive forest, rainfall decline with distance inland is much less evident owing to the biotic recycling of precipitation, and biomass and soil properties vary less steeply.

KW - Behaviour and environments of BSCs - on north- and south-facing dune flanks in Hallamish dune field, Israel

KW - Biological soil crusts' effects - on infiltration and overland flow

KW - Desert soils

KW - Dryland soil surfaces, properties - different from deeper subsurface, raindrop energy having no effects

KW - Drylands, and soil infiltrability - locally, very low

KW - Major soil orders - of arid and semi-arid regions

KW - Marked differences in hydrologic role of soils - in drylands and in humid zones

KW - Nutrient status, or desert soil cropping potential

KW - Rock and soil nich classification - inhabited by desert microorganisms

KW - Spatial heterogeneity of desert soils

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U2 - 10.1002/9780470710777.ch7

DO - 10.1002/9780470710777.ch7

M3 - Chapter (Book)

SN - 9780470519080

SN - 9780470519097

SP - 101

EP - 129

BT - Arid Zone Geomorphology

A2 - Thomas, David S G

PB - John Wiley & Sons

CY - Chichester UK

ER -

Dunkerley DL. Desert Soils. In Thomas DSG, editor, Arid Zone Geomorphology: Process, Form and Change in Drylands. 3 ed. Chichester UK: John Wiley & Sons. 2011. p. 101-129 https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470710777.ch7