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Using existing soil databases to consider paleosols in land planning

, : Using existing soil databases to consider paleosols in land planning. Congress of the International Union for Quaternary Research 16(Pages 206

Land Planning at the regional scale makes use of soil information in a great deal of evaluations, most of them related to the economical productive sectors, in particular agriculture and environment. Soil in this ambit is considered as a resource for which the characteristics and properties are measured, and its qualities and suitability for a variety of purposes are assessed. However, there is a growing interest in applying Land Planning to preserve the cultural heritage of the territory, and the role that soil can play in such evaluation is often underestimated. Paleosols are particularly worthwhile in this role of "containers of information", and Land Planning aimed at preserving the cultural heritage of the landscape should take into account the presence of Paleosols. This study was conducted to set up a methodology which could be applied on existing soil database to implement Land Planning for soil information related to Paleosols. The methodology considered all the Po river Plain area and moraine hills of the Lombardia region and utilized a soil database built at the 1:50,000 scale. Other informative layers used were the pedolandscape units, parks and urban area, all at 1:250,000 scale. The area is constituted by glacial Late Pleistocene deposits and Holocene alluvial sediments. The rating considered some selected soil characteristics and gave them a different weight. The scored characteristics were: i) presence of buried horizons, ii) presence of some diagnostic horizons such as fragipan, plinthite, iii) Soil Taxonomy classification at the great groups level, iv) redness rating of the B horizons. The evaluation started from the selection of the pedolandscape units of geological interest and then took into account soils and cartographic mapping units. The overlay with the parks thematic map allowed to estimate the extension of the not already protected paleosols. The presence in polygons with paleosols of urban areas for more than 20% gave an appraisal of the risk of loss of the cultural value of the landscape.


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