Notes on the role of potassium in soil erosion in mountain pastures: Basis for a hypothesis

M. Menghi, F. D. Pineda


Soil erosion in mountain pastures has often been described in terms of rising or falling geomorphological gradients of erosion along slope. In some locations, however, small sectors of eroded soil coexist in any geomorphological zone alongside intact sectors. This has inspired some authors to explain the underlying factors in other forms of erosion, including those which are manifested in mosaics of rhexistasis-biostasis, lobules of solifluction, small tiers, etc. Geomorphological anomalies such as those related to cracks and vertical movements in small rocky blocks, melting snow or animal activity, have helped to describe the coexistence of these sectors. This paper considers that the variation of potassium in soil can permit an explanation of the frequent intact-eroded soil mosaics in siliceous substrata highlighted by herbaceous vegetation.


Biostasis; geomorphology; mountain pastures; potassium in soil; rhexistasis; slope gradients; soil erosion