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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 22 No. 1, p. 66-69
    Received: July 8, 1957
    Accepted: Oct 28, 1957

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Soils, Paleosols, and Soil-Horizon Nomenclature1

  1. R. V. Ruhe and
  2. R. B. Daniels2



Exhumed paleosols commonly occur geographically juxtaposed to modern soils. Use of standard soil-horizon nomenclature, with its inherent genetic bias, may erroneously portray the histories of the juxtaposed pedo-geologic soil landscapes. It is suggested that the nomenclature of exchumed paleosols be differentiated from the nomenclature of modern soils by insertion of an upper case P preceding the letter designations of the soil horizons of exhumed paleosols. Application of the proposed nomenclature is illustrated.

Lithologic discontinuities of parent materials in which a solum has developed now is designated nomenclaturewise by the use of the subscript u—meaning unconformity. This is a misuse of the term unconformity in the geologic sense. In most cases the superposed parent materials are related conformably rather than unconformably. The vertical sequence of Roman numerals to indicate changes in parent materials, suggested by the Committee on Soil Horizons, adequately handles the problem. Application of the sequence is illustrated.

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