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Book: Soil Color
Published by: Soil Science Society of America


This chapter in SOIL COLOR

  1.  p. 109-125
    SSSA Special Publication 31.
    Soil Color

    J. M. Bigham and E. J. Ciolkosz (ed.)

    ISBN: 978-0-89118-926-8


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Stratigraphic and Hydraulic Influences on Soil Color Development

  1. J.L. Richardson and
  2. R.B. Daniels
  1. North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota
    North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina


Color in landscapes has been used for decades as a basic tool for assessing soil drainage. Parent material largely governs the types of minerals and the textural distribution of soils and sediments present in a landscape. Minerals color the soil and often reflect the influence of texture and soil drainage, aeration, and configuration of the water table. Hydrologic conditions (notably recharge, flowthrough, and discharge) influence leaching, reduction-oxidation, and the accumulation of precipitates of Fe and Ca. The water table position and fluctuation are also affected. Geomorphic setting includes climatic factors and general water circulation in open or closed drainage systems. We present a generalized soil mottle sequence that reflects the morphological impact of alternating reducing and oxidizing conditions (redoximorphic features) proceding from dry to very wet landscape positions: (i) unmottled peds with high chroma; (ii) low chroma colors on ped edges with little Fe removal; (iii) distinct albans or gray areas that represent Fe removal from low chroma areas on ped edges or from around root channels with a kneaded color of 3 chroma; (iv) thick albans resulting from Fe removal around all macropores such as roots and ped faces, abundant Fe-Mn concretions in ped interiors and a kneaded color of 2 chroma or less; and (v) zones of Fe accumulation (reddish colors or furrows) around ped faces or root channels or gley coloration in ped interiors.

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Copyright © 1993. Copyright © 1993 by the Soil Science Society of America, Inc., 5585 Guilford Rd., Madison, WI 53711 USA