This work deals with an integrated geomorphological and chemical–physical study of “calanchi” landformsin site (Caulonia) of SE Calabria (southern Italy), developed on of Late Pliocene–Quaternary claydeposits.The aimof this paper is to investigate howtopography and rainfall quantity may affect runoff and slope processesin “Calanchi” landforms by influencing the physical, chemical and mineralogical properties of clayey sediments.To this purpose a comparison has been made among the physical, chemical and mineralogical features ofcalanchi materials sampled after a rainy period precipitation (mean annual rainfall of ~709.6 mm; wetyear) with those sampled after relatively dry period (mean annual rainfall of ~431.4 mm; dry year) and indifferent topographic settings (opposite flanks of a catchment exhibiting different steepness and lengthsi.e. W- to NW-facing and E- to NE-facing slopes). Using a multivariate statistic approach – which adoptsthe principal component analysis (PCA) method to extract factors – it has been possible to make a hypothesisof the main processes responsible for dynamic evolution of the study area. The rainfall quantity coupled withtopography has to be considered as the main control factor inducing changes in the physical–chemical–mineralogical parameters.
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