By: P. W. Birkeland, M. N. Machette, and K. M. Haller
This manual provides a brief summary of materials discussed during a short course entitled Soils as a tool for applied Quaternary geology that was taught May 30-June 1, 1990.
During the seminar, we introduced geologists to the field of pedology as it applies to Quaternary geology and geomorphology. Pedology (the study of soils) and soil stratigraphy (the relation between soils and geologic units) are scientific specialties that are poorly appreciated and rarely applied to studies in Utah. This situation has arisen for three reasons: (1) soil stratigraphy and pedology arc specialized fields that bridge agronomy and geology; (2) the academic community, being strongly compartmentalized, generally does not teach graduate-level courses that combine these subjects; and thus, (3) many locally trained scientists have no practical experience with these techniques. Unfortunately, only a few universities in the Western United States have such capabilities.
Soils are used in geologic mapping to assign a relative sense of age to stratigraphic frameworks (rather than just young to old) and to indicate the duration of unconformities in stratigraphic sequences. In applied geology, soils can help to assess the age and stability of landforms (piedmont surfaces, fault scarps, landslides, etc.). The seminar and this manual are intended to introduce soils as a mapping and quantitative tools for geologists. We present an overview of these topics and review several case studies from Utah and the Western United States in which soils were used to solve problems in applied geology.
Pages: 63 p.
Media Type: Paper Publication