New data on the dolines of Velebit Mountain: An evaluation of their sedimentary archive potential in the reconstruction of landscape evolution
The first approach to the relationships between societies and physical environments on Velebit Mountain shows narrow correlations between spatial distribution of dolines, soil formation, hydric resources, vegetation and land occupation. In 2002, sediment cores have been obtained from different dolines of Velebit Mountain to evaluate the potential of their sedimentary archives in order to reconstruct the landscape history. On the littoral slopes and on the top parts of the mountain, the dolines were difficult to dig due to the presence of rocks in depth. Nevertheless, the cores have been sampled and soil analyses have been made (physical and chemical analyses: colour, grain size, pH, CaCO3, C, N, P, K, Mg, CEC). No dating materials were found. The first results attest to rather homogeneous pedologic processes in each area studied (Kamenica, Stinica, Baške Oštarije and Bilensko Mirevo), but they also indicate colluvial contributions. These contributions differ from one doline to another according to their location and morphology. Dolines reveal themselves to be not very good traps, as the representative nature of their sedimentary archives could be very local. However, the best profile has been obtained at Bilensko Mirevo, which shows a change in the soil nutrient content from an impoverishment in its middle part toward an increase of the soil nutrients in recent parts. Those environmental changes could not be precisely dated, but could be correlated with the 17th to 20th century phase of strong human impact on the Velebit environment and with the rural depopulation observed since the second half of the 20th century.
Keywords: karst, dolines, Mediterranean soils, Velebit Mountain,
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