Origin and weathering of landslide material in a loess area: a geochemical study of the Kulcs landslide, Hungary

Beatrix Udvardi, I. Kovács, Csaba Szabó, György Falus, Gábor Újvári, Anikó Besnyi, Éva Bertalan, Ferenc Budai, Zsolt Horváth

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Geochemical characteristics of sediments are responses to physical and chemical alteration in landslides. However, consequences of in situ interactions associated with landslides are difficult to distinguish from those related to long-term weathering in young soft sediments such as loess. In this study, geochemical characteristics of the Kulcs landslide in Hungary are studied to identify the provenance of the loess–paleosol–red clay sequence and geochemical signatures that can potentially be attributed to the effects of landsliding. Results indicate that sliding is largely initiated by the lithological changes within the landslide body. Sediments above the sliding zone closely resemble the non-slipped Pleistocene old loess deposits from Hungary. It is also confirmed that the sliding zone develops in old paleosols in the loess sequence and red clays at its base which are all characterized by the enrichment of Al, K, Na, H2O and considerable depletion in Ca and Mg associated with carbonates. Altogether, these geochemical characteristics indicate that chemical weathering trend of unconsolidated landslide sediments is slightly modified by the redistribution of carbonates and decomposition of plagioclase. It is assumed that the distribution of Mn and Ba is modified by the water–sediment interaction in the landslide.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1299
JournalEnvironmental Earth Sciences
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2016



  • Geochemistry
  • Landslide
  • Loess
  • Red clay
  • Weathering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Pollution
  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes

Cite this

Udvardi, B., Kovács, I., Szabó, C., Falus, G., Újvári, G., Besnyi, A., Bertalan, É., Budai, F., & Horváth, Z. (2016). Origin and weathering of landslide material in a loess area: a geochemical study of the Kulcs landslide, Hungary. Environmental Earth Sciences, 75(19), [1299]. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-016-6103-6