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Journal of Arid Land  2015, Vol. 7 Issue (6): 820-830    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-015-0052-x
Brief Communication     
Identifying the influence of urbanization on soil organic matter content and pH from soil magnetic characteristics
YANG Han1,2, XIONG Heigang3*, CHEN Xuegang2, WANG Yaqi2, ZHANG Fang1
1 College of Resource and Environment Sciences, Xinjiang University, Urumqi 830046, China;
2 College of Geographical Science and Tourism, Xinjiang Normal University, Urumqi 830054, China;
3 College of Applied Arts and Science of Beijing Union University, Beijing 100191, China
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Abstract  Soil magnetic characteristics are correlated with soil pH and organic matter content. Analyzing soil magnetic characteristics, organic matter content and pH can indirectly evaluate soil pollution caused by human activities. This study analyzed the soil magnetic characteristics, organic matter content and pH in surface soil samples from different land use types in Shihezi city, a newly and rapidly developing oasis city in Xinjiang of China. The aims of this study were to explore the possible relationships among the soil magnetic parameters and thereby improve the understanding of influence of urbanization on soil properties. Eighty surface soil samples at the depth of 0–10 cm were collected from 29 July to 4 August 2013. The results showed that the magnetic minerals in surface soil were dominated by ferromagnetic minerals. Spatially, the magnetic susceptibility (χLF), anhys-teretic remanent magnetization susceptibility (χARM), saturation isothermal remanent magnetization (SIRM) and “soft” isothermal remanent magnetization (SOFT) were found to be most dominant in the new northern urban area B (N-B), followed by built-up areas (U), suburban agricultural land (F), and then the new northern urban area A (N-A). The values of χLF, χARM, SIRM and SOFT were higher in the areas with high intensities of human ac-tivities and around the main roads. Meanwhile, the property “hard” isothermal remanent magnetization (HIRM) followed the order of U>N-B>F>N-A. Built-up areas had an average pH value of 7.93, which was much higher than that in the new northern urban areas as well as in suburban agricultural land, due to the increased urban pollutant emissions. The average value of soil organic matter content in the whole study area was 34.69 g/kg, and the values in the new northern urban areas were much higher than those in the suburban agricultural land and built-up areas. For suburban agricultural land, soil organic matter content was significantly negatively correlated with χLF, and had no correlation with other magnetic parameters, since the soil was frequently ploughed. In the new northern urban areas (N-A and N-B), there were significant positive correlations of soil organic matter contents with χARM, SIRM, SOFT and HIRM, because natural grasslands were not frequently turned over. For the built-up areas, soil organic matter contents were significantly positively correlated with χLF, χARM, SIRM and SOFT, but not significantly correlated with frequency-dependent susceptibility (χFD, expressed as a percentage) and HIRM, because the soil was not frequently turned over or influenced by human activities. The results showed that soil magnetic characteristics are related to the soil turnover time.

Key wordsdesert steppe      green-up      gross primary productivity      phenology      precipitation      temperature     
Received: 12 January 2015      Published: 10 December 2015

The National Natural Science Foundation of China (41171165, 41161029), the Importation and Development of High-Caliber Talents Project of Beijing Municipal Institutions (IDHT20130322) and the Talent Strong School Plan of Funded Project of Beijing Union University (BPHR2012E01)

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YANG Han, XIONG Heigang, CHEN Xuegang, WANG Yaqi, ZHANG Fang. Identifying the influence of urbanization on soil organic matter content and pH from soil magnetic characteristics. Journal of Arid Land, 2015, 7(6): 820-830.

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