Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 232–240 | Cite as

The contribution of Asian dust in the pedogenesis of ultisols in Southeastern China determined by soil grain size

  • Jianwu Li
  • Zhaoliang Song
  • Li RuanEmail author
  • Lihui Yang
  • Lukas Van Zwieten
  • Zhongchen Hu
  • Shengjia He
  • Wentao Chenwu
  • Hailong WangEmail author
Soils, Sec 3 • Remediation and Management of Contaminated or Degraded Lands • Research Article



The present study was conducted to understand the pedogenesis of soils developed on basalts and reveal the impact of Asian dust on soils in subtropical China.

Materials and methods

Soils developed on basalts in Xinchang-Shengzhou Basin are classified as ultisol and sampled by genetic horizon. For grain size analysis, organic matter was removed from soil samples, and then soil samples were dispersed overnight and followed by ultrasonic treatment. Grain size was measured by a Laser Grain size Analyzer. For isotopic analysis, soil samples were first dried at room temperature and then combusted at 700 °C, digested using an HNO3 + HF mixture and dissolved in a 2 N HCl solution. Sr and Nd isotopes measured on a GV Isoprobe-T thermal ionization mass spectrometer (TIMS).

Results and discussion

The grain size distribution with a significantly high content of the “basic dust fraction” (10–50 μm fraction) in the upper profiles (0–40 cm) indicates atmospheric deposition onto the surface layers of soils. The patterns of the grain size frequency curves in the upper layer imply that Asian dust has a great impact on soils. The grain size parameters also reflected the influence of Eolian deposits on soils. The 87Sr/86Sr and εNd values for soils show that the near-surface horizons are substantially impacted by dust.


The grain size, its parameters, and Sr-Nd isotopes have been marked by Eolian characteristics for the upper layers of soil, while showing a dominant basaltic signature in the lower layers. Besides parent material, accumulation of Asian dust has played an important role in pedogenesis of soils in Southeast China.


Atmospheric deposition Grain size Pedogenesis Ultisol 


Funding information

The research was financially supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (41301228, 41601329, 41522207, 41571130042, and 21577131) and the Open Foundation of State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture (Y20160011) .


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jianwu Li
    • 1
  • Zhaoliang Song
    • 2
  • Li Ruan
    • 3
    Email author
  • Lihui Yang
    • 4
  • Lukas Van Zwieten
    • 5
  • Zhongchen Hu
    • 1
  • Shengjia He
    • 1
  • Wentao Chenwu
    • 1
  • Hailong Wang
    • 1
    • 6
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Soil Contamination Bioremediation of Zhejiang ProvinceZhejiang A & F UniversityHangzhouChina
  2. 2.Institute of the Surface-Earth System Science ResearchTianjin UniversityTianjinChina
  3. 3.National Center for Tea Plant Improvement, Tea Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Key Laboratory of Tea Biology and Resources UtilizationMinistry of AgricultureHangzhouChina
  4. 4.Faculty of Territorial Resources and TourismAnhui Normal UniversityWuhuChina
  5. 5.New South Wales Department of Primary IndustriesWollongbarAustralia
  6. 6.School of Environment and Chemical EngineeringFoshan UniversityFoshanChina

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