Micropedology to reveal pedogenetic processes in Technosols


Technosols are characterized by the presence of mineral and organic parent materials of technogenic origin (e.g. agricultural or urban wastes, industrial by-products, building materials, transported natural materials). In view of the continual increase of such man-made soils, there is a true need of understanding their functioning and evolution. Micropedology, i.e. morphological and analytical characterization of pedofeatures on soil sections, appears as a relevant approach to take into account the diversity and the specificity of Technosols in the knowledge of their pedogenetic processes. Micropedology was investigated at microscopic and submicroscopic scale on four Technosols. Therefore, it determined specific features of anthropogenic constituents allowing in situ monitoring until the early stages of Technosol pedogenesis. Organic matter dynamics, soil porosity evolution, impact of faunal activity or hydric conditions on Technosol structure were investigated. Moreover, as Technosol components and deposition modes are diverse, one can expect numerous interfaces. In that way, micropedology appeared particularly well adapted to study these local interfaces as sites of favoured pedogenesis. Supplemented with overall physico-chemical soil analyses, characterization of Technosol pedogenic features using micropedology improves the understanding of their functioning and evolution. In addition, according to the environmental context, such data also give useful information for the Technosol management.



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