Inorganic Carbon: Modeling

Authored by: Leslie D. McFadden , Ronald G. Amundson

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:


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Virtually all carbon in soils of arid and semiarid regions of the world accumulates as pedogenic calcium carbonate (referred to as carbonate). The carbonate usually accumulates in layers that eventually attain the status of calcic horizons and, in much older soils, petrocalcic horizons. Many studies of calcic soils in the past few decades demonstrate a close correspondence between the depth of pedogenic carbonate accumulation and modern annual precipitation, although recent studies show the relationship may be more complicated. Development of a numerical model of carbonate accumulation, however, is a more challenging proposition, given the remarkably complex character of the soil system. Research on the nature and composition of stable and unstable isotopes in pedogenic carbonate has also helped elucidate the nature of calcic soil development and improve the design for testing the results of numerical modeling.

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