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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Genesis and Classification of Clay Soils with Vertic Properties in Saskatchewan1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 51 No. 5, p. 1243-1250
    Received: Aug 18, 1986

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  1. G. S. Dasog,
  2. D. F. Acton and
  3. A. R. Mermut2



Clayey soils formed in glaciolacustrine sediments in semiarid and subhumid regions of Saskatchewan were studied to understand their genesis and to examine their classification according to the amended definition of Vertisols. Although slickensides were common to all soils, semiarid soils displayed weak horizons, whereas subhumid soils had argillic horizons and prominent mollic epipedons. All the soils had high potential to swell and shrink, and were characterized by seasonal moisture deficits sufficient to induce cracking. Soil displacement, as evidenced by slickensides, was attributed to differential wetting in the subsoil. Pedoturbation, as a result of such displacement, has been sufficient to prevent strong horizon formation in semiarid soils but insufficient to counter leaching and illuviation in subhumid soils. Blocky and prismatic structure, when dry, and microfabric considerations support a B horizon designation in these soils, which otherwise exhibit indistinct horizons when moist. It is suggested that Vertisols with frigid and cryic soil temperature regimes should be grouped into a new suborder, Borerts. It is also suggested that soils that have diagnostic horizons other than mollic be excluded from Vertisols even when accompanied by intersecting slickensides.

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