Changes in the physico-chemical properties of topsoil in a landslide-affected area (western part of the Transylvanian Basin, Romania)

Ramona Bălc, Carmen Roba, Gheorghe Rosian, Dan Costin, Csaba Horvath, Octavia Raluca Zglobiu, Diana Chirtos


Landslides determine increases and decreases in specific soil compounds which is affecting soil fertility. The recovery of soil fertility is a long process and may be used as an indicator of the landslide age and can contribute to the management plan of the affected area. In order to add to data about soil properties affected by landslides, the current study focuses on a young and shallow landslide from the western part of the Transylvanian Depression. Soil samples were analysed from a physico-chemical point of view (pH, organic matter – OM, total organic carbon – TOC, major cations, and iron content) in two places, at between 0 and 60 cm depth (inside and outside the landslide). The results obtained showed lower values of pH inside the landslide, low values of TOC and rock fragments in both places studied (inside and outside the landslide) and no differences in soil texture between disturbed and undisturbed soil. The ammonium, magnesium and calcium content was higher outside the landslide, the sodium level was slightly higher outside the landslide, while the potassium concentration was higher inside the landslide. This study offers new data regarding recovery of soil fertility and highlights the importance of gaining knowledge on soil properties of relevance to future measures to increase the fertility of agricultural soils.


soil properties; soil fertility; landslide susceptibility; vegetal composition; Transylvanian Basin; Romania

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