Genesis solonetzic soils in relation to hydrogeology in southern Saskatchewan
Luba, Larry Dean
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Factors governing the evolution of solonetzic soils in Saskatchewan are largely unknown. Existing literature indicated that sodium may accumulate in solonetzic soils from either present groundwater conditions (hydromorphic), past groundwater conditions (paleohydromorphic), or saline parent materials (lithogenic). Part one of the objectives was to investigate and determine the hydrogeology in relation to the genesis of solonetzic soils at one site in southern Saskatchewan. An intensive hydrogeological investigation was conducted near Assiniboia, Saskatchewan. Groundwater chemistry, groundwater flow, depth to watertable, and chemistry of geologic strata were studied. Six pedological sites were identified; Orthic Brown soils (site 1 and 4) were found on upper slopes, Alkaline Solonetz soils (sites 3 and 6) on lower slopes, and Brown Solodized Solonetz (site 2) and Brown Solonetz soils (site 5) on mid to lower slopes. Two geologic cross sections were completed and a nest of piezometers and an observation well was installed at each site. The Orthic Brown soil, at site 1, occurred in a groundwater recharge area while the Alkaline Solonetz soil, at site 3, occurred in a groundwater discharge area. Brown Solodized Solonetz (site 2), Orthic Brown (site 4), Brown Solonetz (site 5), and Alkaline Solonetz (site 6) soils occurred in areas of seasonal groundwater recharge and discharge. Part two of the objectives was to document the hydrogeology, from existing data, for selected solonetzic areas south of Township 40. The Hanley, Central Butte, Radville, Consul, and Kindersley solonetzic areas were chosen and topographical, pedological, geological and hydrological data were examined. A "most probable" theory of sodium accumulation in the solonetzic areas was discussed. The origin of sodium from discharging saline groundwater (hydromorphic) probably occurred in the Saskatchewan Rivers Plain (between the Allan and Hawarden Hills Uplands), along eastern portions of the Central Butte Plain, along the eastern edge of the Missouri Coteau (near Radville) and along both sides of the Souris River in the Souris River Plain (near Radville). The origin of sodium from past groundwater discharge (paleohydromorphic) probably occurred in portions of the Hawarden and Allan Hills Upland, along the northern edge of the Missouri Coteau and the Eyebrow Hills Uplands (near Central Butte) and in portions of the Souris River Plain. The origin of sodium from saline parent materials (lithogenic) probably occurred in the Frenchman River Plain, the Snipe Lake Plain, portions of the Central Butte and the Souris River Plains and portions of the Neutral Hills Upland. Note:This thesis contains maps that have been sized to fit the viewing area. Use the zoom in tool to view the maps in detail or to enlarge the text.