Research area: Thailand

Research Sites in Northern Thailand: Bor Krai, Huai Bong, Mae Sa  Mai

Soils of NW-Thailand: (a) Major Soils: Acrisols, Alisols, Cambisols; (b) Minor Soils: Anthrosols, Ferralsols, Fluvisols, Gleysols, Leptsols, Luvisols, Plinthosols, Regosols, Technosols, Umbrisols; (c) Exotic Soils: Chernozems, Histosols, Stagnosols, Vertisols

Chernozems - Soils of NW-Thailand

In NW-Thailand, little patches of Chernozems were found in the surroundings of karst springs and the area below the water reservoir of the village Bor Krai. There, during the rainy season, carbonate-rich water seeps into soil below and transformed it from a Cambisol into Chernozem in mere 10 years. Three kinds of Chernozems were found so far, namely Calci-Molliglossic Chernozems, Gloss-Calcic Chernozems, and Glossi-Luvic Chernozems. Chernozems are either under forest or used for maize production. According to local farmers, upland rice production is not feasible on Chernozems.

Chernozem on freshwater limestone (left), karst spring with swimming calcite on the water surface providing carbonate-rich water for Chernozem formation (right).

Most Chernozems investigated consist of a very dark thick topsoil (>50cm) with a silty clay texture and a strong crumb structure in the upper part and a subangular blocky structure in the lower part. Further characteristics are secondary carbonates and channels from animals. The boundary to the underlying freshwater limestone is commonly abrupt and irregular.

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copyright Ulrich Schuler 2008-2010