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A comparative study of five soil profiles from the east Kootenay district of British Columbia Lindsay, John Dawson

Abstract

The field study involved obtaining complete soil descriptions and data relating to the vegetation, relief, climate and geology of the area. The tests selected for the laboratory phase of the study were those thought most likely to reveal the degree of development of each profile and included mechanical analysis, apparent specific gravity, fusion analysis, cation exchange capacity, organic carbon, and soil reaction. The results of the study indicate that the soils form a sequence of profiles showing different degrees of development. The first soil examined shows little evidence of profile development since free lime occurs right to the surface and there is no evidence of translocation of any constituents down the profile. It is suggested that this soil be treated as an Alluvial soil in classification. The second profile, termed a Brown Wooded soil, shows slightly greater development than the Alluvial soil, but at the same time it has not reached the Grey Wooded stage of development, as represented by the third profile. Free lime has been leached to a depth of six inches but there is no accumulation of clay or sesquioxides in the B horizon of the Brown Wooded soil. It would appear that this soil should be separated from Alluvial and Grey Wooded soils at the family level of the classification system. The third profile has the characteristics necessary for classification as a Grey Wooded soil. The analyses show that there has been an appreciable translocation of clay and sesquioxides from the A₂ to the B₂ horizon. The apparent specific gravity and percent base saturation are also typical of Grey Wooded soils. The fourth soil studied is a polygenetic profile having a Brown Podzolic soil in the upper part of the solum and a heavy textured clay horizon typical of Grey Wooded soils in the lower part. It would appear that a Brown Podzolic soil has developed in the A₂ horizon of a Grey Wooded due to acid leaching. This soil is considered to be a Grey Wooded-Brown Podzolic intergrade. The fifth soil is the most mature soil in the sequence. This profile is characterized by the development of a Podzol soil in the A₂ horizon of a Grey Wooded. The laboratory analyses have confirmed field observations in this regard. There is an accumulation of sesquioxides and organic matter, typical of Podzol soils in the B_█(p@) horizon,while the lower B_2gw horizon shows the clay accumulation characteristic of Grey Wooded soils. The soil reaction, cation exchange capacities and percent base saturation are also in agreement with the accepted definitions of these soils. The fifth soil, therefore, is considered to be a Grey Wooded-Podzol intergrade.

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