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Scientific Excursion

Excursion through Schleswig Holstein

Date: 26.9.2015 (whole day)
Topic: Soil properties, soil functions and management effects in characterisitic landscapes.
Guides: Prof. Dr. R. Horn, Dr. H.Fleige, Dr. I. Zimmermann and Dr.M. Filipinski

The excursion will be carried out through the three main landscapes of Schleswig-Holstein (SH) in the NW of Germany. Characteristic soil types, their properties and management use will be presented and discussed at soil profiles. 

(1) The “younger moraine area” formed by the weichselian glaciation: The soil types and therefore the soil physical and chemical conditions are varying over very short distances, depending on the position in the relief. Soil types are mainly Stagnic Luvisols, which are partly eroded, Gleyic Anthrosols (Cumulinovic) and Calcic Gleysols/Histosols in depressions.

(2) The “Geest”, divided into sandur plans (weichselian glaciofluvial deposits) and older (terminal) moraines formed by the saalean glaciation: As sandy parent material predominates, a change in soil groups is mainly caused by hydrologic differences in this landscape, where there are only slight variations in altitude. Extremely small changes in the distance between groundwater and surface decide whether Ortsteinic Podzols, Gleyic Podzols or Gleysols (Petrogleyic) occur. The main factors in the spatial variability of the soils of the older moraines are the relief and the parent material. The hilltop is covered by aeolian sand deposits (Stagnic Podzols) or periglacial cover sands (Stagnic Cambisols, Arenosols).

(3) The “marshland” derived from sediments deposited by marine and brackish sediments with different types of Fluvisols: Their development starts seaward of the dykes with intensive redox processes, especially sulphide formation and -oxidation and structure formation (Salic Tidalic Fluvisols). After dyking salt leaching (Gleyic Fluvisols (Calcaric)), most fertile soil in SH), and decalcification (Gleyic Fluvisols (Eutric) follows. Furthermore, clay-rich soils (Endogleyic Planosols) and acid soils (Gleyic Fluvisols (Thionic) are common.