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Exploring the Complexity of Volcanic Soil Genesis in Greece through Multivariate Analysis

N. K. Moustakas, L. Salvati, F. Georgoulias


The present study presents a comparative analysis of selected chemical and physical indicators describing volcanic soils on seven sites in Greece characterized by different eruption age and materials. Despite the acidic nature of the parent material, all these soils are characterized by coarse texture, low organic matter content, low cation exchange capacity and high pH. A total of 31 soil properties was analyzed using multivariate statistics to classify the sampled sites into homogeneous groups according to eruption age and to identify the most relevant factors contributing to the discrimination among sites. Results indicate that climate and the nature of the parent material are key factors determining the soil genesis in the studied sites. Multivariate analysis proved useful to explore complex soil systems characterized by specific physical and chemical properties. Findings derived from such an analysis may inform policies aimed at designing volcanic geo-sites of national and supra-national interest.


Volcanic material; Mediterranean climate; Soil indicators; Principal Components Analysis.

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