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Spodosols. By: Ross McHugh. Spodosols – General Characteristics. Acid soils characterized by a subsurface accumulation of humus that is complexed with Al, and Fe. Typically form in coarse-textured parent material and have light colored E horizon overlying a reddish brown spodic horizon.

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spodosols

Spodosols

By: Ross McHugh

spodosols general characteristics
Spodosols – General Characteristics
  • Acid soils characterized by a subsurface accumulation of humus that is complexed with Al, and Fe.
  • Typically form in coarse-textured parent material and have light colored E horizon overlying a reddish brown spodic horizon.
  • The process that forms these horizons is known as podzolization.
general characteristics cont
General Characteristics cont.
  • Central concept of Spodosols is that of soils in which amorphous mixtures of organic matter and aluminum, with or without iron, have accumulated.
  • In undisturbed soils there is normally an overlying eluvial horizon, generally gray to light gray in color, that has the color of more of les uncoated quartz.
  • Most spodosols have little silicate clay. The particle size class is mostly sandy, sandy-skeletal, coarse-loamy, loamy, loamy-skeletal, or coarse-silty.
spodosols in minnesota
Spodosols in Minnesota
  • Spodosols are only found in Minnesota as the suborder Orthods, which are forested soils with a sandy texture.
  • They are frequently found in small areas that are downslope from a summit. Orthods are covered by forests of aspen or pine and are rarely used for agriculture because of their acid, droughty nature.
locations and area
Locations and Area
  • Spodosols often occur under coniferous forests in cool moist climates.
  • Globally, they occupy approximately 4% of the ice free land area.
  • In the US they occupy approximately 3.5% of land area
  • Within Minnesota Spodosols, particularly the suborder Orthods only occupy 122,000 acres or 0.2% of area.
minnesota soil suborders
Minnesota Soil Suborders

- Shown on the map as the Pink color. Not very prevalent but can be seen in patches throughout the North Central and East Region of Minnesota.

diagnostic horizons
Diagnostic Horizons
  • Presence of a spodic diagnostic horizon, a subsurface accumulation of soil organic matter with aluminum and or iron sesquioxides.
  • Spodic horizon = an illuvial horizon containing active amorpheous material and organic matter and Al with or without Fe. Spodic horizons have the following characteristics:
suborders
Suborders
  • Spodosols are divided into 5 suborders
    • Aquods
    • Gelods
    • Cryods
    • Humods
    • Orthods