Marco Pfeiffer

Marco Pfeiffer
University of Chile · Facultad de Ciencias Agronómicas

Ph.D., M.Sc., BSc,
@soilscapes_chile

About

45
Publications
20,300
Reads
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266
Citations
Citations since 2017
32 Research Items
238 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230102030405060
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Introduction
My research interest is understanding the environmental factors that explain the spatial and temporal distribution of soils, as well as to understand how this variability of soils creates an array of different interactions between soils and the other spheres of planet earth (biosphere, atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and cryosphere). Specifically, my work focuses on understanding soils as a component of the environment in current and past landscapes.
Additional affiliations
June 2018 - present
Universidad de Chile
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
August 2012 - February 2018
University of California, Berkeley
Position
  • PhD Student
March 2009 - May 2011
University of Chile
Position
  • Master's Student

Publications

Publications (45)
Article
The hyperarid Atacama Desert contains numerous local basins with surficial salt crusts, known as salars, where evaporation of shallow groundwater drives the major soil processes. We examine chemical and isotopic profiles in two soils of differing ages from the Salar Llamara to determine the geochemical processes involved in their formation. Evapora...
Article
Full-text available
At the Tongoy palaeobay in north-central Chile, a series of beach ridges developed during seaward progradation that took place after the MIS 11 sea-level highstand (412ka). The microrelief left by this succession of beach ridges has been well preserved from erosion due to the development of a calcrete (petrocalcic horizons), which was resistant to...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies have shown that the area between the present Northern and Southern Patagonian Ice Fields (47°S to 48°S) was covered with ice during the Last Glacial Maximum (16000 BP). The ice retreat generated a typical glacial geomorphology with moraines, kettles, kame terraces, fluvioglacial terraces and fluvial terraces. Until now, there have...
Article
Full-text available
We discovered permanently hydrated CaCl2-rich soils in Earth’s driest region, the Atacama Desert. The soils contain up to ~15% CaCl2. X-ray diffraction indicates the rare minerals sinjarite, schoenite, and tachyhydrite. When water is added, the CaCl2 crust immediately turns white due to an apparent mineralogical phase change from sinjarite to a bri...
Chapter
Soil inorganic carbon (SIC) contributes to up to half of the terrestrial C stock and is especially significant in arid and semi-arid environments, yet has not been explored as much as soil organic carbon (SOC). SIC plays an important role in agriculture, CO2 sequestration and emission and climate regulation. To address this, a comprehensive review...
Article
Soil inorganic carbon (SIC) contributes to up to half of the terrestrial C stock and is especially significant in arid and semi-arid environments, yet has not been explored as much as soil organic carbon (SOC). SIC plays an important role in agriculture, CO2 sequestration and emission and climate regulation. To address this, a comprehensive review...
Preprint
Full-text available
Spatial soil databases can help model complex phenomena in which soils are decisive, for example, evaluating agricultural potential or estimating carbon storage capacity. The Soil Information System for Latin America and the Caribbean, SISLAC, is a regional initiative promoted by the FAO's South American Soil Partnership to contribute to the sustai...
Chapter
This chapter compiles the main aspects that explain the genesis and distribution of soils in the five Mediterranean climates of the planet. The main characteristic of Mediterranean soils is the discordance between high temperatures and high moisture, allowing the occurrence of a soil leaching season (winter) and soil drying season (summer). This pa...
Chapter
Pedodiversity is a neologism of soil diversity concerning to the analysis of the number of soil classes or pedotaxa using mathematical procedures. However, the same tools are shown to be useful for other purposes such as the analysis of the structure of pedological hierarchical taxonomic systems and the standards for soil surveys and maps. Pedodive...
Chapter
The complementary use of agroforestry and water harvesting practices is a possible strategy to counter the soil degradation processes occurring in Mediterranean regions. Studies show that implementation of sustainable land management technologies worldwide has the potential to increase crop yields by 30–170%, soil organic carbon sequestration by up...
Article
The Atacama Desert contains the driest regions on Earth, with significant rain occurring only a few times per century, based on sparse historical records. However, the frequency and magnitude of rainfall remains speculative. On March 24e26 of 2015, an unusual storm caused rainfall rates and quantities to exceed many historical records. Of interest...
Article
Full-text available
A number of agroecological practices have been proposed for assessing soil quality. Several physical soil properties have been shown to be important for determining soil quality by using the sustainability index (SI) and the cumulative rating approach. The main aim of the study was to determine the effects of different agroecological managements on...
Data
This video shows what happened to this particular soil when water was added to the surface, causing immediate collapse of the surface of several cm. A particular surprising observation was that the addition of water also caused an immediate and profound color change: from reddish brown to a milky white.
Article
Full-text available
A critical aspect of predicting soil organic carbon (SOC) concentrations is the lack of available soil information; where information on soil characteristics is available, it is usually focused on regions of high agricultural interest. To date, in Chile, a large proportion of the SOC data have been collected in areas of intensive agricultural or fo...
Article
Ground-based monitoring and remote sensing of extreme rain events in the hyperarid Atacama Desert, Chile, reveal a complex relationship between precipitation, soil types and interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) coherence. These integrated analyses allow examination of temporal and spatial variations of the soil moisture response between...
Article
Full-text available
A critical aspect of predicting soil organic carbon (SOC) concentrations is the lack of available soil information; where information on soil characteristics is available, it is usually focused on regions of high agricultural interest. To date, in Chile, a large proportion of the SOC data have been collected in areas of intensive agricultural or fo...
Chapter
Full-text available
Tradicionalmente se asocia al suelo como el sustento de la vegetación, y por ende como un componente esencial de los sistemas productivos agrícolas y forestales. Sin embargo, el valor del suelo y la importancia de su conservación van mucho más allá de su rol más evidente, la producción de alimentos, existiendo un sinnúmero de bienes y servicios que...
Poster
Full-text available
Chile Central se caracteriza por tener un mosaico de ecosistemas que reflejan la transición entre uno de los desiertos mas secos del planeta y el húmedo clima que caracteriza a los fiordos patagónicos. Este complejo ecológico se ubica en una geografía que está modelada por su ubicación en un margen tectónico convergente. Este ha creado un relieve c...
Preprint
Full-text available
One of the critical aspects in modelling soil organic carbon (SOC) predictions is the lack of access to soil information which is usually concentrated in regions of high agricultural interest. In Chile, most soil and SOC data to date is highly concentrated in 25 % of the territory that has intensive agricultural or forestry use. Vast areas beyond t...
Poster
Full-text available
Chile Central se caracteriza por tener un mosaico de ecosistemas que reflejan la transición entre uno de los desiertos mas secos del planeta y el húmedo clima que caracteriza a los fiordos patagónicos. Este complejo ecológico se ubica en una geografía que está modelada por su ubicación en un margen tectónico convergente. Este ha creado un relieve c...
Poster
Full-text available
Do Soil Forming Factors drive Pedodiversity in Central Chile? Marco Pfeiffer1, Juan José Ibañez2 1. Departamento de Ingeniería y Suelos, Facultad de Ciencias Agronómicas, Universidad de Chile, Santa Rosa 11315, La Pintana, Chile 2. Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Serrano 115, 28006 Ma...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Desde el poblamiento de América del Sur hace alrededor de 14.500 años o antes, que los primeros habitantes de estas tierras se confrontaron con ambientes extremos. En los Andes Centrales, destaca la híper-aridez del desierto de Atacama junto con la altura extrema del Altiplano Andino. En particular, la zona conocida como el desierto absoluto en el...
Article
Full-text available
This paper reports a previously unidentified paleoenvironmental record found in sand dunes of the Atacama Desert, Chile. Long-term aeolian deflation by prevailing onshore winds has resulted in the deposition of sand on the irregular surface of a Miocene-aged anhydrite outcrop. Two deposits ~25 km apart, along the prevailing wind trajectory, were ha...
Article
Full-text available
Public architecture emerged in conjunction with the development of early complex societies and is therefore a key feature for understanding them. Anthropogenic mounds and platforms in southern Chile dated to the Late Ceramic Period (AD 1000–1550), and historic indigenous inhabitants (AD 1550–present) are the southernmost manifestation of public arc...
Poster
Full-text available
Southern Patagonia is a region of high interest for researchers, however, our understanding of its ecosystems is still poor and soils are no exception to this. Only a handful of works have been written and large areas of soils have never been observed. Based on the few existing studies on Patagonian soils and comparing the region with other of simi...
Article
Full-text available
In the past decade, pedological research in hyperarid environments worldwide has revealed landscapes and soil features that are regionally prevalent and distinctive, but not well captured in the current soil taxonomy. Hyperarid soils bear genetic features that can differ considerably from those in more humid desert environments. In particular, they...
Article
Full-text available
The importance of the Norte Chico region in north-central Chile has long been recognized for the paleoclimates recorded in its soils. This area lies in an extreme climate gradient between the hyper-arid Atacama Desert in the north and a Mediterranean climate in the south, which has made it very sensitive to past climate changes. Nevertheless, few p...
Thesis
Full-text available
En la paleobahía de Tongoy (30°S), ubicada en Chile centro-norte, se encuentran cuatro terrazas de abrasión marina, denominadas TV, TIV, TIII y TII, las cuales se asocian a los estadios isotópicos marinos (MIS, por sus siglas en inglés) MIS 1, MIS 5e, MIS 7 y MIS 11. Sobre las tres terrazas más antiguas, se desarrollan suelos carbonáticos cementado...
Article
The following study compared two field methods and one laboratory method to measure saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) in the saturated phase of soil, all evaluated in a clayey loam soil with three replicates. The two field methods under study were the auger hole method (PB) and the cylinder infiltrometer (CI), the laboratory method was the cons...
Article
Full-text available
The following study compared two field methods and one laboratory method to measure saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) in the saturated phase of soil, all evaluated in a clayey loam soil with three replicates. The two field methods under study were the auger hole method (PB) and the cylinder infiltrometer (CI), the laboratory method was the cons...

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Cited By

Projects

Projects (2)
Project
To include all scientific work related to soil science.
Project
Diversity studies of biotic and abiotic diversities in arid lands of Europe. Are they correlated?. Landscape pattern analysis and nature preservation. Biological and geological heritage (geoheritage).