Pedosphere 28(6): 895--904, 2018
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2018 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Formation and movement of groundwater in the thick loess-palaeosol sequences of the Chinese Loess Plateau
MA Yandong1,2, ZHAO Jingbo1,2, LIU Rui3, ZHOU Qi4, YIN Leipeng1
1School of Geography and Tourism, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710062(China);
2State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an 710075(China);
3Department of Basic Science, Engineering University of Armed Police Force, Xi'an 710086(China);
4Key Laboratory of Disaster Monitoring and Mechanism Simulating of Shaanxi Province, Baoji University of Arts and Sciences, Baoji 721007(China)
      Permeability and water-bearing space are important hydrological characteristics of the loess strata. In this study a systematic experiment was conducted to measure the magnetic susceptibility, grain size, porosity, and infiltration rate of the loess and palaeosol layers on a loess tableland of the central Chinese Loess Plateau, in order to investigate the differences in hydrological conditions between the loess and palaeosol layers. The magnetic susceptibility of the loess layer was lower than that of the palaeosol layer, but the average quasi-steady infiltration rate was about 0.31 mm min-1 higher, the coarse silt and very fine sand contents were about 7.1% greater, and the porosity was about 5.7% higher. These differences were mainly due to pedogenesis, which was affected by the Quaternary climate. The pedogenesis differences between the loess and palaeosol layers resulted in hydrological property differences in terms of permeability and water-bearing space. The loess layer had a higher permeability and more water-bearing space than the palaeosol layer, which meant that the loess layer is more likely to form aquifers and the palaeosol layer is more prone to form aquitards. The groundwater in the loess strata had a multilayered characteristic, which depended on the relative impermeability of palaeosol layer and the alternate deposition of loess-palaeosol layers. The hydrological characteristics of the loess strata demonstrated that the Quaternary climate had an important control function on the formation and movement of groundwater. This knowledge provides a reliable theoretical basis for water resource development and utilization on the Chinese Loess Plateau, and this study extends the application of Quaternary climate change theory to hydrological systems in loess deposits.
Key Words:  aquifer,aquitard,grain size,magnetic susceptibility,pedogenesis,permeability,Quaternary climate
Citation: Ma Y D, Zhao J B, Liu R, Zhou Q, Yin L P. 2018. Formation and movement of groundwater in the thick loess-palaeosol sequences of the Chinese Loess Plateau. Pedosphere. 28(6):895-904.
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