Quantification of wind erosion and soil degradation in the semi-arid Kulunda steppe (Western Siberia)
Prof. Dr. Manfred Frühauf, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Institut für Geowissenschaften
Dr. Andrey Bondarovich, Altai State University, Barnaul (Russland)
The agriculturally used soils in semi-arid steppe regions are especially threatened by erosion processes. An example is the Kulunda steppe in the south-eastern part of Western Siberia. Knowledge concerning wind erosion and soil degradation in the semi-arid steppe areas is scarce, especially for the Siberian steppe areas, and only few studies considered the effect of soil erosion on nutrient availability. The project focuses on the effects of wind erosion on soil profile development and changes in soil quality in the Kulunda steppe. A main aim will be to quantify the amount of eroded sediment, and to investigate changes in soil quality. The buried topsoils of soils in shelter belts at the edges of the fields are compared with topsoils of cropped fields using pedological and geochemical methods (mainly particle size distribution and elemental analysis), and 137Cs concentrations as chronological marker.