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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Properties and Classification of Kitsap Soils in Northwestern Washington1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 46 No. 6, p. 1253-1258
    Received: Jan 26, 1981
    Accepted: July 6, 1982

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  1. H. F. Shovic,
  2. B. E. Frazier and
  3. R. A. Gilkeson2



The Kitsap series is widely distributed in the Puget Sound Lowlands. It has developed in glaciolacustrine sediments under the influence of cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers. This series is a benchmark soil and it has been classified as prime land for agriculture and forestry in Washington. Fourteen sites, representing the geographic range of this series, were characterized in the field. Four pedons were selected from characterization in the laboratory. A typical pedon which represents the central concept of the Kitsap series is described. The range of chemical and physical properties, genesis, and classification are discussed.

Kitsap soils occupy intermediate terraces in major stream drainages and along some bluffs facing Puget Sound. The two most important soil-forming processes are the accumulation of organic matter and the transformations and redistribution of iron. These processes yield a thick, but relatively light-colored epipedon, concretions, mottles, and durable aggregates. The clay fraction is dominantly vermiculite with extensive Al-hydroxy interlayers. Laboratory and field characterization data support the placement of these soils in Aquic Xerochrepts. However, at the family level the data indicate that these soils as they are currently mapped fit (i) fine, mixed, mesic, (ii) fine-silty, mixed, mesic, and (iii) fine, vermiculitic, mesic.

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