Soils of the Verkhoyansk Range in the Area of Arkachan Plateau


The vertical zonality of the soil cover of the Verkhoyansk mountainous soil province is discussed. The soils of the landscape-ecological profile in the area of the Arkachan Plateau (65° N, 130° E) have been studied. Their morphogenetic characteristics and position in the new Russian soil classification system are analyzed. The absolute height of the mountains reaches 1200 m, the relative height ranges from 400 to 500 m. The plateau is composed of sandstone, siltstone, and shale of the Mesozoic age. The climate is cold and sharply continental. Permafrost has a continuous character. However, in the profile of mountainous soils, permafrost is often absent, as its upper table lies below the stony soil profile. In the vertical zonality of the Arkachan Plateau, mountainous tundra zone (>1100 m a.s.l.) and mountainous taiga zone (<1000 m a.s.l.) predominate and are characterized by the development of lithozems (Leptosols), peat lithozems (Cryic Epirockic Histosols), and mucky lithozems (Eutric Histic Skeletic Leptosols). On the terraces of mountain rivers, thin gleyic cryozems (Turbic Cryosols) are formed; stony peat gleyzems (Histic Reductaquic Cryosols) are found in accumulative zones on slopes, and gray-humus alluvial soils (Skeletic Leptosols) are developed on the floodplains. Thin profiles, peaty and raw-humus organic horizons, stoniness, acid or slightly acid reaction, low base saturation in topsoil horizons, and weakly pronounced morphological and physicochemical differentiation of the profile are typical of all the studied soils. The results of this study can be used to develop the database on poorly studied soils of mountainous areas and their characteristic features.

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This study was performed within the framework of project no. 0376-2019-0006 of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (registration number AAAA-A19-119040990002-1) and partly supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project no. 19-29-05151\19).

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Correspondence to M. V. Okoneshnikova.

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Translated by D. Konyushkov

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Okoneshnikova, M.V., Ivanova, A.Z. & Desyatkin, R.V. Soils of the Verkhoyansk Range in the Area of Arkachan Plateau. Eurasian Soil Sc. 53, 535–543 (2020).

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  • Arkachan Plateau
  • mountainous soils
  • Leptosols
  • Cryosols
  • Histosols
  • permafrost
  • Yakutia