Unconsolidated Horizons, Layers, Lithic, and Paralithic Contact Depth Interpretations

Unconsolidated Horizons, Layers, Lithic, and Paralithic Contact Depth Interpretations

Should the excavation not extend to a depth of 150 cm the last horizon, or unconsolidated layer (interpret this as all non-root restrictive layers or horizons) should be extrapolated to 150 cm for interpretations for the Region IV SASES[1] contest. The last horizon depth should be the specified judging depth with a “+” added.

Thus, if the pit sign states “Describe 5 horizons to a depth of 140 cm”, the fifth lower depth designation should be “140+”.

Lithic contact: the upper contact should be considered in evaluating hydraulic conductivity, effective soil depth, and water retention difference. When a lithic contact is encountered the “+” is dropped from the depth recorded.

Paralithic contact: occurs within the specified depth, the contact should be considered as one of the horizons to be included in the description, and the appropriate horizon nomenclature should be applied (i.e., Cr). When a paralithic contact is encountered the “+” is dropped from the depth.


[1]Students of Agronomy, Soils, and Environmental Sciences

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