Abstract:—

Paleopedological studies of alluvial systems in intramontane valley settings provide useful tools for understanding the interaction of tectonics, climate, and local base-level changes in controlling alluvial dynamics. An example is reported from the Quaternary alluvial deposits of the Val d'Agri Basin in Southern Italy, which were accreted in response to cycles of deposition, pedogenesis, and erosion. Several buried weathering profiles, representative of the main stratigraphic unconformities, were characterized by field description and micromorphological analyses. The profiles appear to be truncated at the top by intense erosion. The main pedological features and their formative processes occurred polycyclically, attesting to different and relict pedogenetic phases that are not in equilibrium with present-day environmental conditions. We interpret the weathering profiles as paleosols that developed mainly during Pleistocene interglacial periods. The (peri-) glacial phases mainly caused erosion of devegetated slopes and soil truncation processes. All of the paleosols in the Val d'Agri basin offer useful information on the chronological reconstruction of climatic phases and the associated sequence of pedogenetic events during the Quaternary in the Mediterranean region.

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