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Berlin Environmental Atlas

01.11 Criteria for the Evaluation of the Soil Functions (Edition 2018)

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01.11.2 Special Natural Character

Description

Ice age deposits have given the Berlin area a special natural character that differs considerably from other landscapes in Germany. Particularly striking landscape features include geomorphological peculiarities, such as dead ice sinks, end and push moraines, dunes and former glacial meltwater channels.

Dead ice sinks resulted from blocks of ice remaining from the last ice age which melted away later and which today appear as round, sometimes water-filled depressions featuring groundwater-influenced soils and bog associations. Loamy soils with sandy wedges in which dry fissures were filled with blown drift sand during the late ice age are located on undisturbed boulder marl plateaus, and are recognizable in an aerial view as a regular polygonal network.

End and push moraines are moraines formed by aggradation at the edges of the ice when there was a balance between melt-off and fresh ice. They appear in the landscape today as ridges and hills.

Late and post-glacial dunes are still clearly recognizable from their shapes, but hardly move anymore, due to their covering of vegetation.

The glacial meltwater channels have survived in many cases, and form chains of lakes and wetlands. The soil developments and the occurring soil associations are closely connected with the morphology and the parent materials present. They reflect special characteristics and peculiarities of the natural space here.

Methodology

Only soil associations which are associated with unusual ice-age-related geomorphologically features, and which were able to develop undisturbed by the ice-age deposits were considered. Only near-natural soil associations were included (cf. legend to Map 01.01), as soils of unique character should remain largely unaltered by human use. Soils consisting of land-fills and aggradations, or translocated soil material are not considered to have a unique natural character. Tab. 1 presents an overview of soil associations with natural landscape character, due to their parent material, their special morphology and their largely undisturbed soil development. These include primarily moraine plateaus with sand wedges, moraine hills, glacial meltwater channels with groundwater soils and bogs, river leas with fluvisols, gyttjas and peats, and dunes.

The soil associations listed in Tab. 1 were rated positively in regards to their special natural character. Any remaining soil associations do not show any unique characteristics of a natural landscape.

Tab. 1: Soil associations with a special natural-spatial peculiarity
New ID
Old ID
Soil Association Geomorphology
1080 8 podzoluvisol - arenic dystric cambisol - dystric cambisol dunes
1090 9 spodo-dystric cambisol - podzol - colluvial dystric cambisol dunes
1100 10 spodo-dystric cambisol - dystric cambisol - colluvial dystric cambisol dunes
3020 SG 9, 10 podzol - dystric cambisol- colluvial dystric cambisol dunes
1050 7 dystric cambisol - chromic cambisol - colluvial cambisol glacial meltwater channels
1230 22 dystric cambisol - stagnic gleysol - histo-humic gleysol glacial meltwater channels
1231 22 a eutro-gleyic cambisol - gleysol - eutric histosol glacial meltwater channels
1270 27 dried (fluvi-eutric) histosol - dried histo-humic gleysol - gleysol glacial meltwater channels
1280 28 dried (fluvi-eutric) histosol - fluvic histo-humic gleysol - eutro-gleyic dystric cambisol glacial meltwater channels
1290 29 dystric cambisol - colluvium/residual gleysol - dried eutric histosol glacial meltwater channels
1300 30 dystric cambisol - stagnic gleysol / eutric histosol - dried transitional histosol glacial meltwater channels
1030 3 dystric cambisol - colluvial cambisol end and push-moraines, moraine hills
1040 4 dystric cambisol - regosolic cambisol - colluvial cambisol end and push-moraines, moraine hills
1060 5 dystric cambisol - regosol - colluvial cambisol / gleysol end and push-moraines, moraine hills
1110 72 podzol - regosolic cambisol - colluvial cambisol end and push-moraines, moraine hills
1180 17 dystric cambisol - dystric gleysol - calcaro-dystric histosol end and push-moraines, moraine hills
1164 15 d stagno-gleyed cambisol - gleysol - dried eutric histosol lower bog soils
1240 23 stagno-gleyed dystric cambisol - calcic gleysol - dried histosol lower bog soils
1251 c histosol - histo-humc gleysol -podzol gleysol lower bog soils
1260 26 dried (fluvi-eutric) histosol lower bog soils
1270 27 dried (fluvi-eutric) histosol - dried histo-humic gleysol - gleysol lower bog soils
1280 28 dried (fluvi-eutric) histosol - fluvic histo-humic gleysol - eutro-gleyic dystric cambisol lower bog soils
1290 29 dystric cambisol - colluvium/residual gleysol - dried transitional histosol lower bog soils
1300 30 dystric cambisol - stagnic gleysol / eutric histosol - dried transitional histosol lower bog soils
1320 24 fluvic gleysol - fluvi-stagno gleysol - eutrophic fluvi-eutric histosol lower bog soils
3030 SG 24, 32,35,36 fluvic gleysol - fluvi-eutric histosol lower bog soils
1250 25 dystric gleysol - histo-humic gleysol - mesotrophic histosol dead ice sinks
1010 1 luvisol - arenic cambisol sand-wedge
1130 12 luvisol (sometimes influenced by groundwater)- arenic dystric cambisol (sometimes influenced by groundwater) sand-wedge
1310 31 calcaric regosol - calcaro-gleyic regosol - calcaric gleysol lime mud
Tab. 1: Soil associations with a special natural character

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