Pedogenic approach to resolving the geomorphic evolution of the Pakua river terraces in central Taiwan

Heng Tsai, Zeng Yei Hseu, Wen Shu Huang, Zueng Sang Chen

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23 Citations (Scopus)


The southern part of the Pakua tableland in Taiwan comprises a series of wide, unpaired river terraces that have as many as six altitude levels, from PK-1 (highest) to PK-6 (lowest). The terrace surfaces are covered with lateritic soils. This study described, sampled and analyzed the soils from each terrace. Soil taxonomies are Oxisol, Ultisol and Inceptisol. Soil morphological characteristics were quantified as a profile development index (PDI) to determine the degree of soil development. The chemical analyses included cation exchange capacity (CEC) and selected extraction of Fe in soils. Based on the degree of soil development, surface deposits on terrace flights form the post-incisive soil chronosequence, supporting the hypothesis of terrace formation by fluvial processes. Soil ages were estimated based on iron crystallinity (Fed-Feo)/Fet. Analytical results indicate that river terraces in the Pakua tableland are aged 40-400 ka. The long-term uplift rate of the tableland can be estimated using terrace ages and folding geometry. The variation of uplift rates demonstrates that the landscape underwent increased shortening of frontal thrusting by the Changhua Fault running beneath the tableland.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-28
Number of pages15
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jan 15

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth-Surface Processes

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