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Berlin Environmental Atlas

01.01 Soil Associations (Edition 2018)

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Selected Soil Associations

Currently, there are 78 distinct soil associations. In the following, some characteristic soil associations (SA) will be described. A more detailed description of soil associations was developed by Grenzius (1987). The depicted landscape segments originate from Grenzius' dissertation (1987).

Tab. 7: Soil association and its characteristic soil types, use/ formation and frequency.
The frequency for collective associations 3020, 3030 and 3040, cannot be directly compared with others, as it encompasses several soil associations.


Excel
[Table is also available as Excel-File (MS-Excel is required).]

Near-natural Soil Associations

SA 1010 [1] Luvisol (para-brown soil) – arenic cambisol (wedged sand-pit brown soil)
(ground moraine flat upland area of boulder marl)
This soil association combines soil types with plateaus withboulder clay or marl as parent material. Shrinkage created wedges filled with sand; this was then overlaid with drift sand. A mixture of drift sand with boulder marl led to the formation of the glacial cover sand. Luvisols developed on the 1 - 3 m deep wedged sand-pits of arenic cambisols (wedged sand-pit brown soils) where the boulder clay and marl was covered with a thin glacial sand cover.

This soil association is particularly found at the Teltow and Barnim boulder marl plateaus.

Luvisol (para-brown soil) - Arenic Cambisol (wedged sand-pit brown soil)
Fig. 2: Luvisol (para-brown soil) - arenic cambisol (wedged sand-pit brown soil)
(soil association of the ground moraine plateau of boulder marl)

SA1070 [6] Dystric cambisol (rusty brown soil) – colluvial cambisol (colluvial brown soil)
(outwash plain over) moraine area of glacial sands
This soil association comprises dystric cambisols on the sandy, morphologically relatively flat area of the boulder marl plateaus and the ground moraines of the Teltow (Grunewald, Düppler forest) and Barnim plateau. The upper 2 metres of glacial sand do not contain boulder clay or marl.

Dystric Cambisol (rusty brown soil) - Colluvial Cambisol
Fig. 3: Dystric cambisol (rusty brown soil) - colluvial cambisol (colluvial brown soil)
(soil association of moraine areas (outwash plain) of glacial sands)

Dystric cambisols also appear at the kames formations of the Grunewald forest, from Lübars to Arkenberge, and in the end moraine formations in Gatow and Müggelberge, where they have a different spatial relationship (geomorphological unit). This is why, this geomorphological unit was included with another soil type in another soil association, SA 1040 [4]).

Another soil association, SA 1020 [2] or 1030 [3], is of dystric cambisols on relatively higher moraine hills of glacial sands with some boulder marl or boulder clay remainders within the first two metres of the glacial sands.

SA 1090 [9] Spodo-dystric cambisol (podzol brown soil) – podzol - colluvial dystric cambisol (colluvial rusty brown soil)
(dunes of fine sand)
SA 1100 [10] Spodo-dystric cambisol (podzol brown soil) – dystric cambisol (rusty brown soil) – colluvial dystric cambisol (colluvial rusty brown soil)
(dunes of fine sand)
Soil associations 1090 [9] and 1100 [10] are dunes several metres thick, remote from groundwater, as well as larger dune areas with terrain heights of over 40 m above sea level. They differ primarily in the presence of podzols. They appear mainly in the Tegel and Frohnau forests, but in the Köpenicker Forst as well. No statements can be made about the presence of podzols without soil profile studies. These two soil associations in East Berlin were partially listed as collective soil associations, unless maps were available (Standortskarten des Forstbetriebes Ost-Berlin, Smettan 1995) (Site Maps of East Berlin Forest Management), in which case they were listed separately.

Spodo-dystric Cambisol (podzol-brown soils) - Podzols - Colluvial Dystic Cambisols (colluvial rusty brown soil)
Fig. 4: Spodo-dystric cambisol (podzol-brown soils) - podzols - colluvial Dystric cambisols (colluvial rusty brown soil) (soil association of dunes of fine sand)

SA 1160 [15] Dystric cambisol (rusty brown soil) – stagno-gleyed cambisol (gleyed brown soil)– eutro-gleyic cambisol
(valley sand areas of medium and fine sand)
This soil association is widely distributed in the Berlin glacial spillway (Urstromtal). The Berlin Urstromtal is the last meltwater valley of the Frankfurt phase of the Weichselian glaciation. The medium and fine sands transported and deposited in the valley by meltwater formed the parent material for the formation of cambisols and dystric cambisols. Varying groundwater levels caused the formation of gley properties, such as rusty spots, in various depths. These are represented by the soil types stagno-gleyic cambisol and eutro-gleyic cambisol. Groundwater levels sank in this century because of groundwater removals by the Berlin Waterworks. Gley properties are often only residuals today, i.e. groundwater levels today are deeper than the gley characteristics they once produced. This soil association is present particularly in the Spreetal in Köpenick, and in the valley sand areas of forests in Spandau, Tegel and Jungfernheide.

Stagno-gleyed Cambisol (gleyed brown soil) - Eutro-gleyic Cambisol (gleyic brown soil)
Fig. 5: Stagno-gleyed cambisol (gleyed brown soil) - eutro-gleyic cambisol (gleyic brown soil)
(soil association of valley sand areas of medium and fine sand in the Spandauer Forst)

SA 1231 [22a] Eutro-gleyic cambisol (gleyic brown soil) – gleysol – eutric histosol (lower bog)
(meltwater channels in valley sand areas without dunes)
The great pressure from the weight of the glaciers melted ice at their bottom layers. The runoff of this meltwater produced subglacial meltwater. Great amounts of meltwater produced in the warm periods between ice ages flowed into the valleys and with their erosive force created - at times deep - subglacial meltwater channels. The channels in the vicinity of groundwater bogged or silted up after the last ice age. Many of these channels, particularly in the Berlin inner city, were landfilled and/or built upon, and are not visible today.

Such fluvioglacial meltwater channels within valley sand areas are found in parts of the Wuhle, the Neuenhagener Mühlenfließ, Spekte-Lake, the Egelpfuhlwiesen, and the Breite Fenn. Histo-humic gleysols (peatymoulder gleys) and valley bog peat formed directly in the middle of these channels, depending on groundwater levels. Also depending on groundwater levels, eutro-gleyic, eutro-gleyic dystric, stagno-gleyed and stagno-gleyed dystric cambisols were formed towards the channel edges.

Eutro-gleyic Cambisol (gleyic brown soil) - Gleysol - Eutric Histosol (lower bog)
Fig. 6: Eutro-gleyic cambisol (gleyic brown soil) - gleysol - eutric histosol (lower bog)
(meltwater channels in valley sand areas without dunes)

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