a physical geographer
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Soil Pit in a Reforestation (Aforestation) StudyA more intensively examined soil profile in a study on the effects of establishing Larch trees here 20 years ago. Perhaps one of the more surprising findings is the colonization of earth worms, which are not common in this area.
Thin Ice Wedge CastAn ice wedge is formed by water in the ground freezing and expanding to form cracks. When the ice melts, surface sediments get washed in.
Wide Ice Wedge CastGenerally, soil temperatures must go below -17° C for the cracks to form. This feature is preserved from a time when the climate was much colder in Poland that it is today.
Tree ThrowThe soil lifted by the roots as the tree fell will eventually slump off to form a mound adjacent to the pit left behind. Over time, this process produces a distinct microtopography in this type of ecosystem.
Oi Horizon from a Soil in a Peat BogFibric organic material from the surface of a dysic, frigid Hemic Sphagnofibrist (Lobo soil series).
Loess Cross SectionLayers of loess and paleosols. The soil at the base was probably formed between 100,000 to 150,000 years ago.
Internal Shifting in LoessThe iron deposits provide color contrast for the discontinuities in the loess texture and/or structure. The loess was deposited in roughly horizontal bands; the breaks and shifts of those bands seen now probably indicate mass movement in the hill as the overall loess mass settled.
City Hall Sliding Down the HillThis old building has had to constantly deal with the shifting loess underneath it. Note the buttress that has been added on the downhill side of the building.
Shell in LoessSnail shells are commonly found embedded in loess. Using evidence such as carbon dating and identifying the species can be useful information about the timing and conditions of past environments.
Soil PipingSediments can erode below ground, forming 'pipes' of subsurface flow. The seeping water removes sediment, starting from the exit point of the seepage and advancing up-gradient.
Rill Erosion in Brussel SproutsThe silty texture that partially defines loess is very susceptible to erosion.
Line Marking the Meridian for 17° EastThe University of Wrocław's Mathematical Tower was purposefully built on the 17th meridian east. (Okay, it is actually located at 17º 02' E)
Plaque Marking the Meridian for 17° EastOn the street outside the University of Wrocław's Mathematical Tower, on plac Uniwersytecki, is a plaque commemorating the 17th meridian east. (btw, look out for the knomes)
OSL Dating a Dune 1Process of dating a dune with optically stimulated luminescence. Here you can see the PVC pipe that we hammered in below the solum (to avoid contamination from bioturbation). This date will constrain when the dune was last active.
OSL Dating a Dune 2After collecting samples from below the solum, we augered down to the base of the dune to get a date constraining the oldest age of the dune.
Roscommon Red Pine ForestA rare 34 acre grove of virgin red pine.
Soil Probe TruckTruck equipped with a probe for extracting soil cores.
Wetland on Till - Soil CoreSoil core from a depressional wetland (Okoboji soil series), with a thick horizon enriched in organic carbon (black) and calcareous till below.
GIS in the FieldPair of students with Dr. Schaetzl. They are comparing data in a GIS with observations they are making in the field.
Deeper Sediments Brought to the SurfaceThe color contrast between the organically enriched topsoil and the paler sediments brought to the surface by ants illustrates bioturbation.
Bioturbation by Ants 1Ants can move a tremendous amount of soil material, which affects soil properties.
Bioturbation by Ants 2Close-up of a piece from an ant hill, showing how much movement of material can be happening inside.
OrtsteinClose-up of some ortstein found within a Podzol in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The ortstein was formed in an illuvial horizon that can be cemented by iron (giving the reddish tint), aluminum, manganese, and/or humus.
Concretions of Calcium CarbonateThe precipitation of Calcium Carbonate in this soil tends to leave deposits along the pores left behind by plant roots.
Manganese MottlesMottles are redoximorphic features formed by the movement and concentration of iron and/or manganese. In this case, the purple spots are concentrations of manganese.
Soil Forming on the Niagara EscarpmentSoil is forming as the rock of the Niagara escarpment weathers and the plants make use of the sediments in the cracks. The Niagara Escarpment is a cuesta, which is a ridge with a gentle backslope and a steep frontslope.
LamellaeThe thin, sheet-like zones enriched with clay and iron oxides (red stripes) are lamellae. They tend to form in sandy soils with a little clay.
Soil EmissionsApparatus for measuring gases emitted from the soil. The enclosures are lowered periodically to take a reading and then raised again to avoid interfering with the natural processes. This setup is part of the CarboZALF project, focused on understanding dynamics of greenhouse gases in the landscape.
Wetland Emission Experiments 1Wetlands provide many important environmental services. In the process, there are many interactions with greenhouse gases. These chambers are measuring gas emissions across different depths of this wetland.
Wetland Emission Experiments 2Apparatus for measuring gases emitted from the wetland. The enclosures are lowered periodically to take a reading and then raised again to avoid interfering with the natural processes.
Buffalo Track (looking upward)Tracks worn into a limestone bluff.
Buffalo Track (looking downward)In case you are skeptical, notice the indented shape, reflecting a cloven hoof.
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