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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Coppice Dunes and the Rotura Soil1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 30 No. 5, p. 657-660
    Received: Apr 20, 1966
    Accepted: June 16, 1966

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  1. Leland H. Gile2



Early land survey notes and present conditions indicate that certain coppice dunes near Las Cruces, N. M. have formed since 1885. The Rotura soil, formed in mid-Pleistocene sediments, occurs at the land surface between dunes but is buried beneath the dunes. The dunes overlie and preserve the pre-dune surficial horizons, and the stratigraphic relationships thus preserved can be useful in genetic studies of thin upper horizons between dunes.

Coppice dune materials are not presently recognized as individual soils but are designated by such terms as “hummocky phase”. Although no A or B horizon development is apparent in the dune materials, roots and fauna have locally mixed the sediments. Coppice dunes dominate the microrelief and occupy major portions of the land surface in many areas. In addition, most dunes are thickly covered with vegetation. An alternative interpretation, therefore, is that sediments of a coppice dune constitute a soil and thus should be classified and named.

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