Evolution of Jura Mountain soils

This research involves the study of soils and the potential reaction to climatic changes in a mid-altitude (500-1400m) mountain environment. Therefore, it is necessary to properly characterize these soils in their present-day context and to understand the past dynamics. The challenge is based on understanding the types of weathering and formation scenario of Jura soils by concentrating on the fine fraction. By following soils back to their origin, their weathering, the integration and the behaviour of their fine material, it is possible to identify all the input into the system, the output, the different compartments, their transformations, and the flow of materials between each of them (Figure 1). The study sites comprise two catenae in the Vaud Jura Mountains (Figure 2), chosen for their variability of substrates, dynamics, and geological history.



Thin sections of Jura soils showing A) iron redistribution triggered by a root, and B) argilanes in a soil in a state of leaching


Site of interest (Amburnex, VD, Switzerland), with pH distribution along the toposequence


Participant: Eric Verrecchia
Collaborations: Loraine Martignier, Meryl Nussbaumer


For more information

Freytet P. & Verrecchia E.P. (2008): Formations superficielles consolidées - Induration et consolidation par les carbonates. pp. 337-350 in Dewolf Y., Bourrié G. (eds.) Les formations superficielles. Ellipses, Paris.