Major and trace element concentrations of a few representative loess profiles in Kashmir valley are studied using EDXRF spectroscopy. Principal component analysis for pattern recognition has been employed to study association between elemental concentration variations in various horizons. The present study reveals that elements related to clay illuviation (K, Rb, Fe, Ti, Mn) and plant activity (Cu, Zn) are generally higher in B horizon of the palaeosols whereas Ca and Sr have a high concentration in the loess layers. Such an elemental concentration variation provides us with an objective index for identification and confirmation of palaeosols. There is further a close association in the movement of (i) K, Rb, (ii) Fe, Ti, Mn, (iii) Cu, Zn and (iv) Ca, Sr. These clusters of elements are also present in modern soils, suggesting that the soil characteristics in palaeosols have been preserved. Concentration of iron and titanium is also observed to be higher in loess profiles on Pir Panjal mountain flank which is dominated by basic rocks, compared to profiles on Himalayan flank, suggesting that the loess in Kashmir might have been derived from the nearby rocks in a localized way.
Volume 128 | Issue 8
Click here for Editorial Note on CAP Mode