GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 114-10
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


ANDERSON, Hayley C.1, RAMSEY, Rebecca C.1 and SHEPARD, Christopher2, (1)Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Kentucky, 1405 Veterans Dr, Lexington, KY 40546, (2)Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546-0091

Little is known about the interaction of soil forming processes in sinkholes, an abundant geologic feature of karst landscapes. We examined soils forming at varying topographic positions to better understand soil formation and biogeochemical cycling processes in sinkhole features. Soils were described and sampled by genetic horizons along a catena within two sinkholes.The sinkholes were located outside Versailles, KY, Woodford County in the Bluegrass Region of Central Kentucky on the University of Kentucky C. Oran Little Research Center Farm. Initially, we will quantify bulk density, coarse fragment content, Munsell soil color, soil texture, pH, cation exchange capacity, and percent organic material (via loss on ignition) within the samples. Initial data suggested increased erosion from the summit to the toe slope positions in the sinkholes, which resulted in an accumulation of organic material at the base of the sinkhole. Additionally, we expect to observe greater acidity and greater presence of cations in the toeslope soils, compared to the summit and shoulder positions. These observations suggest that sinkholes may act as a carbon sink instead of a source, which influences landscape management considerations.