The variability and geomorphology of Appling, Cecil, and Davidson soils on sideslopes in the Virginia Piedmont
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Delineations of Applinq, Cecil, and Davidson soils were sampled on a grid pattern (4 to 9 m spacings), using a bucket auger, to determine their modal character and variability with regard to various chemical and morphological parameters. Delineations were located on south-southwest facing, 5 to 12% slopes, in gently rolling landscapes that typify the Virginia Piedmont. Appling soils had the thickest A horizons and sola and were highest in A horizon P but were lowest in A horizon pH, K, Ca, Mg, and organic matter and B horizon pH, P, K, Ca, and Mg. Cecil soils were highest in A and B horizon pH and in B horizon P, K, and Mg, but had the thinnest sola. Davidson soils were highest in A and B horizon Ca and in A horizon organic matter but were lowest in A horizon P. Soil variability was considerable at all sites, with A horizon thickness and pH and B horizon P and K varying the most over short distances.
Subsequent to the grid sampling study, we dug soil pits in areas in which approximately modal soil characteristics had been observed. pit studies revealed negative effects of agriculture upon these soils; A horizons were high in clay, had high bulk densities, and had low organic matter contents. Predictably, tilth was poor. pit studies also showed that locally supplied colluvial materials cover a significant portion of the upland Piedmont soilscape. Of 18 pedons studied, 12 appeared to be formed in colluvial materials. However, colluvium-derived soils were usually distinguished from their residual counterparts only by the presence of a stone line that roughly paralleled the present soil surface at depths of 0 to 2 m. Therefore, these colluvial inclusions should rarely affect soil interpretations for Appling, Cecil, and Davidson map units.
- Masters Theses