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2013_Book_TheSoilsOfChile

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World Soils Book Series Series Editor Prof. Alfred E. Hartemink Department of Soil Science, FD Hole Soils Laboratory University of Wisconsin–Madison Madison USA For further volumes: http://www.springer.com/series/8915Aims and Scope The World Soils Book Series brings together soil information and soil knowledge of a particular country in a concise and reader-friendly way. The books include sections on soil research history, geomorphology, major soil types, soil maps, soil properties, soil classifi- cation, soil fertility, land use and vegetation, soil management, and soils and humans.Manuel Casanova • Osvaldo Salazar Oscar Seguel • Walter Luzio The Soils of Chile 123Manuel Casanova Osvaldo Salazar Oscar Seguel Walter Luzio Department of Soil and Engineering University of Chile Santiago Chile ISSN 2211-1255 ISSN 2211-1263 (electronic) ISBN 978-94-007-5948-0 ISBN 978-94-007-5949-7 (eBook) DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-5949-7 Springer Dordrecht Heidelberg New York London Library of Congress Control Number: 2012954627 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are reserved by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microlms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. Exempted from this legal reservation are brief excerpts in connection with reviews or scholarly analysis or material supplied specically for the purpose of being entered and executed on a computer system, for exclusive use by the purchaser of the work. Duplication of this publication or parts thereof is permitted only under the provisions of the Copyright Law of the Publisher’s location, in its current version, and permission for use must always be obtained from Springer. Permissions for use may be obtained through RightsLink at the Copyright Clearance Center. Violations are liable to prosecution under the respective Copyright Law. The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specic statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. While the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication, neither the authors nor the editors nor the publisher can accept any legal responsibility for any errors or omissions that may be made. The publisher makes no warranty, express or implied, with respect to the material contained herein. Printed on acid-free paper Springer is part of Springer Science+Business Media (www.springer.com)Preface Imagine the narrowest and longest country in the world, where high snow-covered mountainscanbeseenfromtheoceanandhugeriverssculptthelandscape,wherefrequent volcanoeruptionscoverthelandwithash,whereearthquakesshaketheearthandtsunamis overwhelm the coastline, where enormous glaciers are retreating, and finally imagine a place where it never rains…. then you are seeing the majesty and magnificence of Chile. It should be noted that within Chilean territory you can find almost all the soil types observed in the world, but unfortunately these represent a scarce and fragile natural her- itage. Natural resources are one of more important economic assets in Chile, but to avoid over-exploitation of those considered nonrenewable, a transition toward sustainable development should be a priority. The vision of local soil scientists about the problems that afflict Chilean soils has been extended to a broader concept than erosion, namely soil degradation. Such problems were unsuspected a few decades ago, but nowadays soils are studied in light of a wide range of complex and interconnected problems, which cast a long shadow over the future offertile Chilean land and await the light of wisdom. In response to increasing concerns about soil degradation and the sustainability of agricultural production potentials in almost all regions of Chile, many researchers and institutions have developed diverse and valuable initiatives. These efforts include resource inventories, the design and development of low-cost technological options, the develop- ment of ecologically sound cropping systems, and options designed to conserve and manage the agrobiodiversity and forest resources that exist in the country. However, because the use and management of soils depends on many different actors, only limited progress is possible unless all are involved in planning and implementing programs to conserve this vital natural resource. In this regard, involvement takes on a very wide connotation, from having a deep knowledge of soil dynamics to planning management within an ethical context of this true work of art by nature. vAcknowledgments A large number of people over a long period of time have greatly assisted in the devel- opment of soil science in Chile. A particular debt is owed to all those largely unknown stewards, the pioneer soil surveyors, who made it possible to understand the complex distribution of soils in Chile. We also thank all the soil scientists that have forged and are building daily soil knowledge in Chile, while apologizing to those who may have been inadvertently omitted in this book. Finally, the authors reserve special gratitude for the UniversityofChile,theircurrentworkplaceandalwaysreveredalmamater,whichallowed them to translate their passion for the Soils of Chile into this document. viiContents 1 General Chile Overview. 1 1.1 Territory Formation: Geology and Geomorphology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1.2 Climate: From Desert to Glaciers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 1.3 Vegetation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 1.4 Land Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 2 Main Features of Chilean Soils 2 5 2.1 Soil Formation in Chile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 2.2 Major Soil Zones. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 2.2.1 Soils of the Hyper-Arid to Semi-Arid Zone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 2.2.2 Soils of the Mediterranean Zone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 2.2.3 Soils of the Rainy and Patagonian Zone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 2.2.4 Soils of the Insular (Easter–Juan Fernández) and Antarctic Zone . . . . 80 2.3 A Soil Map of Chile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 3 Management of Soil Properties in Chile . 9 9 3.1 Chemical Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 3.1.1 Soil Reaction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 3.1.2 Soil Salinity and Sodicity. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 3.1.3 Nutrient Availability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 3.2 Physical Properties. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106 3.2.1 Bulk Density . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106 3.2.2 Particle Size Distribution and Water Retention . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108 3.2.3 Structural Stability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 3.2.4 Pore Functionality. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 3.3 Biological Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113 3.3.1 Soil Organic Carbon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113 3.3.2 Soil Biodiversity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116 4 Human-Induced Soil Degradation in Chile . 1 2 1 4.1 Erosive Soil Degradation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121 4.1.1 Water Erosion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122 4.1.2 Wind Erosion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126 4.2 Non Erosive Soil Degradation (Physical, Chemical and Biological). . . . . . . . 127 4.2.1 Soil Physical Degradation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127 4.2.2 Soil Chemical Degradation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136 4.2.3 Soil Biological Degradation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141 ix4.3 Desertification. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144 4.3.1 Coquimbo Region and Patagonia, Two Emblematic Cases of Desertification in Extremes Zones of Chile . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145 4.3.2 Easter Island, an Example of Collapse by Soil Degradation . . . . . . . . 149 4.4 Future of Soil Conservation in Chile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152 Appendix 1 5 9 Authors’ Biographies 1 8 1 Index . 1 8 3 x Contents1 General Chile Overview Chile is a long (4,300 km) and narrow (180 km wide on average) country in the southwestern extreme of South America that presents varied and pristine landscapes truly unique in the world. Inhabited for around 10,000 year, its territory is bordered by Perú to the north through the Concordia line, Argentina and Bolivia to the east through the huge Andean altitude, the South Pole to the south and the Pacic Ocean along the western side. Its continental length, between the northern and southern boundaries, is approximately 4,200 km. Including the Chilean Antarctic Territory, its longitude exceeds 8,000 km. A region of the Antarctic continent is also part of Chile, which forms a triangle ending in the South Pole. The continental and insular territory amounts to 756,915 km 2 and the Antarctic territory to 1,250,000 km 2 (Fig. 1.1). Chilean territory is very asymmetrical in its length and width, 4,300 km and approximately 180 km on average, respectively. The maximum insular width is 468 km and is located at 52 S. The maximum continental width is found in Antofagasta (Region II), between the Mejillones and the Bolivian boundary (at 27 S; 380 km) and the minimum continental width at 31 37’S (90 km). As a nation, Chile became independent in 1818 and today is administratively divided into 15 Regions (Fig. 1.2), 50 Provinces and 341 Municipal Governments. 1.1 Territory Formation: Geology and Geomorphology Western South America is one of the best known conver- gent margins on the Earth. The current cycle of ocean- continent convergence began in the Jurassic following the break-up of the Gondwana supercontinent and has been continuing ever since with varying degrees of obliquity. In the evolution of the Andean Orogen in Chile (c. 550 Ma geological history), it is possible to distinguish ve separate main periods. The latest of these (Andean), occurring dur- ing late Early Jurassic to present, is characterised by con- tinental break-up and represents the archetypal example of a subduction-related mountain belt. Belts of active volcanoes, the most signicant tectonic and geological events in the evolution of the Andes, have occurred since the Late Oligocene, after the break-up of the Farallon plate into the Cocos and Nazca plates at approxi- mately 27 ± 2 Ma. This resulted in a change from oblique to more nearly orthogonal convergence between the Nazca and South American plates, as well as a greater than two- fold increase in convergence rates, which together produced a more than threefold increase in trench–normal conver- gence. This caused changes in subduction geometry which accelerated crustal shortening, thickening and uplift in the Northern Central Andes, but resulted initially in extension and crustal thinning in the Southern Central and Southern Andes. As a result of the increase in convergence rates, magmatic activity also increased along nearly all the Andean chain. The Late Cenozoic tectonics of the coast of Northern Chile reects processes related to the seismic coupling between the subducted Nazca Plate and the overriding South American Plate. Although these processes probably occur in all eroding convergent margins around the globe, only in Northern Chile is the record preserved due to the hyper-arid climate of the region (Allmendinger and González 2010). The South American central volcanic zone (CVZ; 18–27 S) includes Chile and around 40 active volcanic centres (Fig. 1.3), as well as around 20 active minor centres and/or elds and at least 6 potentially active elds. A zone where the passive Juan Fernández Ridge is subducting the continental margin is present between approx. 27 and 33 S, corresponding to a at-slab subduction M. Casanova et al., The Soils of Chile, World Soils Book Series, DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-5949-7_1, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013 1Fig. 1.1 Land and sea space of Chile (http://www.wikipedia.org, Accessed 30 November, 2012) 2 1 General Chile Overviewzone, whereas in the zones north and south of this aseismic segment the Wadati–Benioff zone is steeper. The South American south volcanic zone (SVZ; 33–46 S) includes at least 60 historically and potentially active volcanic edices in Chile and Argentina, as well as three giant silicic caldera systems and numerous minor eruptive centres. However, the continuity of the strike– parallel morphostructural units is interrupted in the regions where the Juan Fernández and the Chile ridges intersect the continental margin, causing segmentation of the orogen. The Chile Rise is an active spreading centre that marks the boundary between the Nazca Plate and the Antarctic Plate at the so-called Chile Triple Junction. A gap in active volcanism occurs between 46 and 49 S to the south of the Chile Rise–Trench triple junction, where the south-east extension of the Chile Rise has been sub- ducted during the last*8 Ma, without a Benioff zone of seismic activity below this volcanic gap. Fig. 1.2 Administrative division of Chile at present 1.1 Territory Formation: Geology and Geomorphology 3The Austral volcanic zone (AVZ; 4
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