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Print version ISSN 0006-8705
CAMPOS, Milton César Costa et al. Characterization and classification of archaeological dark earths from the Middle Madeira River Region. Bragantia [online]. 2011, vol.70, n.3, pp.598-609. ISSN 0006-8705. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0006-87052011000300016.
Although several studies have been published about the Archaeological Dark Earths, few of them tried to understand and elucidate questions about the pedogenesis and behavior of these soils. Thus, the objective of this study was to characterize and classify Archaeological Dark Earths in four sites, selected in the region of the Middle Madeira River. Four pedons were morphologically characterized and collected for chemical, physical and mineralogical analysis. Physical analysis involved particle size distribution, water dispersible clay, soil bulk and particle density, total porosity and saturated hydraulic conductivity. Chemical analysis involved pH in water and KCl, exchangeable cations, exchangeable aluminum, available P, extractable acidity (Al+H), organic carbon and, SiO2, Al2O3 and Fe2O33 extracted with H2SO4. Free iron oxides were extracted with dithionite-citrate-bicarbonate and poor crystalline iron oxides were extracted using ammonium acid oxalate. Mineralogical analysis of sand, silt and clay fractions were carried out by X-ray diffraction. The studied soils were classified in the Brazilian System of Soil Classification as Red Yellow Argisol, Gray Argisol and Yellow Argisol. The presence of the anthropogenic A horizons with similar chemical properties and depths in all studied sites suggests that similar conditions have influenced their formation. All anthropogenic horizons studied in the region showed high base saturation and high to very high P availability as compared to subjacent horizons. The inclusion of the anthropogenic subgroup in the Brazilian System of Soil Classification was also suggested.
Keywords : pedogenesis; soil taxonomy; SiBCS; Amazon environments.