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The morphology, mineralogy and genesis of some soils on the moor house national nature reserve

Hornung, Michael (1968) The morphology, mineralogy and genesis of some soils on the moor house national nature reserve. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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The thesis comprises three parts. One reviews pedological research in the area, discusses the soil forming factors and considers the classification of the soils studied, A chapter is devoted to each pedogenic factor and describes its role in soil formation on the Reserve. Part two comprises a study of several small limestone grasslands. Their microtopography is described using maps which also show soils. Three surfaces are recognised; the surrounding peat surface, a sub-peat 'drift' surface and a dissected limestone surface. Each sub-group in the soil complex is described, i, e. rendzina, brown calcareous soil, acid brown earth and peat podzol: profiles, with analyses, are included. Drift or head is shown to dominate the soil parent material. A contribution from the limestone is present in the shallow soils and dominates in some rendzinas. The inter-relationships of the soils are discussed: they form a sequence reflecting increasing depth of drift. In the shallow soils plants obtain nutrients from the limestone thus offsetting leaching. In the deeper soils the limestone merely maintains free drainage, A history of the grasslands is reconstructed. The smaller areas were, almost certainly peat covered but parts of the larger ones may have remained peat free. Part three discusses eight of the main soil sub-groups on the Reserve. Their distribution, morphology and pedogenesis are considered: profiles are given with analyses. Iron humus podzols are described and the origin of their platey structure and parent material: these soils are shown to be sedentary. Theories on the formation of peaty gleyed podzols are examined in the light of the work at Moor House, Clay movement in some brown earths is discussed. The distribution pattern of the sub-groups is outlined: a drainage sequence containing calcareous members is present. Parent materials of soils on the Pennine escarpment are briefly examined. Many research colleagues in the postgraduate school of the geology department for helpful discussion, and assistance in sampling and analyses. Amongst these colleagues I am especially grateful to Dr. G. Farrow and Mr. A. Stoyel, who taught the author all he knows about steam engines and water mills. Dr. A. Marshall and Mr. K. Jones. The Natural Environmental Research Council for providing a research studentship to finance the research. Last, but by no means least, my wife for taking notes in torrential rain at Moor House, assisting with tables and text figures and, most of all, for giving much needed encouragement during the frequent disasters which occurred during the research.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1968
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 Nov 2013 16:16

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