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Abstract

The paper deals with Recent and relic phosphatic soils of ornithogenic origin which occur in ice free oasis of the maritime Antarctic Zone (Antarctic Peninsula and King George Island regions). These soils form on rocky and clay weathering covers within and around of penguin rookeries. Their morphology strongly depends on penological character of a substrate and climatic differentiation of a region. They are built of a surface layer of guano and underlying zone of a phosphatized rock. Except organic matter and unstable urates, the guano contains calcium phosphates (fluorapatite somtimes brushite) and magnesium-amonium phosphate (struvite). The phosphatized zone consists of phosphatic- silicate clays in which occur diversified aluminium-iron phosphates bearing potassium and ammonium ions (leucophosphite, minyulite, taranakite, amorphous aluminium phosphate). The guano layer is strongly reduced by erosion and weathering in ornithogenic relic soils left by penguins in areas abandoned by them during Holocene. Formation of a humus horizon of a plant origin may be observed under a vegetation cover in the relic soils. Clays of the phosphatized zone in these areas are transformed in the processes of chemical and mechanical weathering, by mass movements and frost processes.
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