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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

A Test for Natural Soil Groups Within the Willamette Catena Population1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 26 No. 3, p. 282-287
    Received: June 7, 1961
    Accepted: June 22, 1961

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  1. J. A. Pomerening and
  2. E. G. Knox2



A sample of 114 soil individuals, from Marion County, Oregon, representing the five soil series of the Willamette catena, was tested for the existence of natural soil groups. Natural soil groups are those separated by minima in frequency distributions of single or combined soil characteristics.

Eighty-five morphological, chemical, and physical properties were quantitatively measured on each individual. Frequency distributions were tabulated for each property and examined for the presence of minima. Frequency distributions for depth to evidence of impeded drainage, cation-exchange capacity of the B2 horizon, and exchangeable magnesium of the B3 horizon showed minima.

Discriminant function analysis was used to test the combined differentiating abilities of several selected characteristics. Minima were observed in frequency distributions for those combined functions which included a differentiating characteristic. The natural groups separated by these minima corresponded to the recognized soil series.

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