Surface Kastanozem of the Lower Volga area was first studied as a part of the pedocomplex, with the lower part (148–160 cm) formed in Early Khvalynian Chocolate clays (13–15 ka), the middle part (100–148 cm) in a mixed clay-loess sediment sand, and the upper part (0–100 cm) in loess. This resulted from local aeolian transport, with the source material derived from the rewinding of marine sediments. They are enriched in aggregates of Chocolate clays and glauconitic grains of a fine sand-course silt size and have similar contents of clay minerals. The high salinity of similar types evidences marine genesis for both Chocolate clays and source material for loess sediments. Clay fragments of a sand and silt size are responsible for the heavy texture and high gypsum content of loess. The study of soils with the focus on micromorphology and clay mineralogy allows the identification of the complex character of a shift from marine to sub-areal sedimentation. This shift was accompanied by short breaks in sedimentation, allowing the development of synlithogenic soil horizons of Late Khvalynian, after-Khvanynian, and Boreal time. The features of shallowly buried soil horizons confirm increased aridity after the last deglaciation. Surface Calcic Kastanozem is a full Holocene soil reflecting the present environment. However, it is deeply influenced by shallow buried soil horizons and Chocolate clays.
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- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)