/AnMtgsAbsts2009.52844 Dynamic Properties of Icelandic Wetland Soils.

Monday, November 2, 2009
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Second Floor

Pall V. Kolka1, Brian Slater1 and Olafur Arnalds2, (1)The School of Environment and Natural Resources, Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH
(2)Faculty of Environmental Sciences, The Agricultural Univ. of Iceland, Borgarnes, Iceland
Wetlands cover an estimated 10% of Iceland, around 10,000 km2. The general trend is that with increasing distance from the active volcanic zones, aeolian deposition decreases and organic matter increases.Due to high aeolian deposition rates, Icelandic wetland soils can have characteristic vegetation and hydrology but too little OM to be classified as histisols (US Soil Taxonomy) or other types of 'true' wetland soils. An estimated 75% of all lowland wetlands in Iceland have been drained or severely affected by human activity to some degree, and as high as 97% in some areas. Many drainage ditches have not been maintained even in areas where agriculture is active, and hence drainage has gradually become less effective. Recently there have been ideas of reclaiming some of the drained wetlands not in production. This raises questions of the processes involved and how quickly they happen. Icelandic soils are extremely dynamic due to rapid environmental changes (instaneous events, e.g. tephra deposition) and the fast weathering of Andosols and their tephraic parent material and organic matter.
In this study, the different wetland soil types in Iceland have been characterized and classified. The aim was to characterize wetland soils across multiple scale by selecting a wide range of sites around Iceland and establishing benchmark sites for future extensive mapping. Changes in the dynamic properties of the soils due to managment practices such as drainage and pasture usage, will be analyzed