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Book: Quantifying Soil Hydromorphology
Published by: Soil Science Society of America



  1.  p. 43-60
    SSSA Special Publication 54.
    Quantifying Soil Hydromorphology

    M.C. Rabenhorst, J.C. Bell and P.A. McDaniel (ed.)

    ISBN: 978-0-89118-949-7


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Redoximorphic Features and Seasonal Water Table Relations, Upper Coastal Plain, Virginia

  1. M. H. Genthner,
  2. W. L. Daniels,
  3. R. L. Hodges and
  4. P. J. Thomas
  1. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg, Virginia


Redoximorphic features are routinely used by soil scientists to predict the depth, duration, and timing of soil saturation. Yet, there are few published studies which examine the validity of commonly held assumptions regarding relationships between periods of soil saturation and the occurrence of redoximorphic features. We initiated this study to relate certain redoximorphic features to seasonal water table fluctuations in an Upper Coastal Plain landscape in Virginia. Soils were sampled along seven catenas. Pedons were auger-sampled on 15-m spacings to a depth of 150 cm, and classified in the field using National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS) methods. Water-table monitoring wells were established in 33 pedons spanning the range of observed soil drainage classes. Water table elevations were recorded weekly for 3 yr, beginning in March 1991. Seasonal high-water tables occurred during February and March, regardless of soil drainage class. Seasonal low-water tables occurred during September and October. We used simple linear regression to quantify the relationships between: (i) seasonal high-water tables and the depth to the shallowest Fe depletions or Fe-depleted matrices of Munsell chroma ≤2(r2=0.73), and (ii) the seasonal high-water tables and the depth to the shallowest Fe concentrations of chroma ≥6 (r2= 0.64). Seasonal high-water tables in welland moderately well-drained soils rose above the shallowest occurring redoximorphic features for periods of up to 30 d. Conversely, the highest water table elevations in poorly and very poorly drained soils often occurred below the depth of the shallowest Fe-depleted matrices.

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Copyright © 1998. Copyright © 1998 by the Soil Science Society of America, Inc., 5585 Guilford Rd., Madison, WI 53711 USA