Boletín de la Sociedad Geológica Mexicana

Volumen 67, núm. 2, 2015, p. 255-272

Influencia de los paleosuelos en los procesos exógenos modernos en la porción noreste de la Cuenca de México

Elizabeth Solleiro-Rebolledo1,2,*, Sergey Sedov1, Svetlana Sycheva3, Serafín Sánchez Pérez4,5, Konstantin Pustovoitov6,7, Daniela Sauer6,8

 

1 Instituto de Geología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, C.P. 04510, México D.F.
2Institute of Geography and Geology, University of Würzburg. Würzburg, 97074, Germany.
3Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences. Moscow, Russia.
4Posgrado en Ciencias de la Tierra, Instituto de Geología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
5Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia, México, D.F.
6Institute of Soil Science and Land Evaluation, University of Hohenheim, Germany.
7Institute of Near Eastern Archaeology, University of Freiburg, Germany.
8Institute of Geography, University of Göttingen, Germany.
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Abstract

As soils are important elements for the processes involved in the critical zone (the zone of interaction between water, soil, air, and organisms), in this work we present the temporal and spatial distribution of a clayey-paleosol sequence with secondary carbonates (layers of caliche and disseminated carbonates) in the northeast sector of the Mexico Basin, particularly in the Teotihuacan Valley. The goal of this paper is the temporal and spatial reconstruction of the past soil cover to understand its relationship with the present day soils and sediments in this semiarid sector of the Mexico Basin. With this information the involvement of these materials in the critical zone could be determined. To comply with these objectives, a north-south transect was carried out, starting in the Cerro Gordo, crossing the Teotihuacan valley and ending in the Sierra Patlachique, describing soil profiles located in different geomorphological positions. The chronological framework has been established with radiocarbon dates of the caliche layers. According to this chronology, the type and degree of pedogenesis, as well as the sedimentation processes, four units have been recognized. The first unit is named the Pleistocene Paleosols, phase I (50000 – 20000 years BP), and is composed of clayey paleosols, chromic and stagnic Luvisols, depending on their position in the landscape. These paleosols contain pedogenic carbonates, disseminated and in fractures, and caliche layers. In the second unit, the Pleistocene Paleosols, phase II (20000 –10000 years BP), sediments predominate over soils; only in the valley floor some Gleysols are found to be cut by alluvial channels. The unit, Paleosols of the Holocene Paleosols unit, phase I (10000 to 1000 years BP), is characterized by polygenetic soils (Vertisols) strongly modified by anthropic processes during distinct phases of pre-hispanic occupation. The last unit, the Holocene Soils, phase II, covers the last millennium when erosional processes and unstable landscape dominate. The paleosols (Luvisols, caliche layers, and Vertisols) are deeply buried at the bottom of the valley. However, on the slopes and hilltop positions, they can appear close to or directly on the surface, being incorporated in the present day soil mantle. Spatial interrelations of different paleosols along the studied transect together with micromorphological observations support the hypothesis of an evolutionary link between the Pleistocene Luvisols and the Holocene Vertisols. We propose that these different units are involved in the hydrological processes in the valley and that the caliche layers, formed in the Pleistocene environments, can affect the geochemistry of the groundwater as well as its isotopic signatures.

Keywords: paleosols, Teotihuacan, caliches, Luvisols, Vertisols, Basin of Mexico.


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