The spatial distribution of salt-affected soils in the southern Fry Mountains, Mojave Desert, California
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Salt-affected soils have important implications for water movement and availability, and are common in arid regions such as the Basin and Range Province in North America. Research on salt-affected soils is limited in upland areas of this province. Statistical analyses in this study support visualizations of the spatial distribution of soluble salts and salt-affected soils in the southern Fry Mountains located in the Mojave Desert, CA. Soils were more likely to be salt-affected at lower elevations closer to Soggy Lake playa, and on slope aspects facing prevailing winds blowing over the saline playa. Additionally, shallow accumulations of soluble salts were found on landform positions associated with desert pavement where infiltration is limited and salts accumulate. This study demonstrates the influence of eolian processes and surface characteristics in the salinization of arid mountains, and has important implications for biogeographic and hydrologic studies in upland areas within the Basin and Range Province.