Talk:Soil horizon

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what are the different type of soil horizons and there characteristics?

I'll look into it. Also, we could get a picture of a cross section of soil with horizons, eh? Lotusduck 19:37, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Woah, look at that. I think I answered your question. However, someone has to do soil horizon formation, and merge with Horizon Soil. I'll get right on it. Lotusduck 21:39, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

With ever growing and changing terminology, this page does need references. Also, I have made some style screw ups. However, I am still proud of what I just did. Maybe one day someone will fix it up right. Lotusduck 21:54, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

soil is unconsolidated material at the earths crust.

eluviation = loss of materials illuviation = gain of materials

B.E (brown earth)

litter layer fermentation layer organic layer A horizon

.biological active mull
.mineral matter

B horizon

.lightly coloured 
.weakly illuviated 

C horizon

. basic parent material
      eg- clay loam


litter layer fermentation layer organic layer A horizon

.mor humus or raw peat stronly eluviated 
 ash coloured
. mostly bleached mineral grains

BF (iron-pan) often lass than 1 meter thick

B horzon

.strongly illuviated with iron, humus and clay

C horizon

.acid parent material


Revamp time![edit]

Launched a major revision of the article, added a bunch more detail and corrected a few factual errors. This still needs a lot of work - there's no mention of European systems of horizon description, and I don't know enough about the US system to be able to discuss it in sufficient detail (to anyone who is familiar with it: help help!). Due to the number of ways one can describe horizons, I think this article is always going to be a pain in the ass to manage and may eventually have to be split into an article for each system, perhaps leaving this one as a basic intro/start point. It also needs more linkage to articles on various soil formation processes, many of which haven't been written yet. Leobrien 07:08, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Some more crediting of the US Dept of Agriculture would help clarify i think[edit]

Hi -- I don't have any prior knowledge of soil layers, but I think that some more crediting / attribution to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture would clarify things for the reader. I understand that the illustration with O-A-B-C layers is public domain, and you don't "have to" give them credit necessarily, but a) it seems to me that it would help the article if the illustration was clearly identified/credited to the U.S. dept of agriculture, and b) the illustration is clearly a creative work itself and it would be very natural to credit it specifically to someone by name or to the organization if the artist name is not available. Several lettering system variations are refered to in the article, which one is this an illustration of?, is a question hanging. Another question hanging is, what artist's illustration is this? Similarly and also, when going on and defining each of the lettered layers in subsections of the article, it is not clear which lettering system that these lettered layers are part of. I gather that there is not a universal, natural, fundamental lettering system, so any one is somewhat arbitrary. It seems then that picking one and explaining upfront and/or in section titles that this is an explanation using the USDA terminology (if that is the one you have chosen) would be helpful to the reader. You could have a further section or footnotes explaining what are the principal differences in the Australian system. Just a suggestion... doncram (talk) 22:51, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

This article has a long ways to go. Because of the current US bias of the article, it would be an improvement to anchor the discussion around the World Reference Base for Soil Resources (WRB), which defines and designates soil horizons very similarly to USDA soil taxonomy. As a world standard, using terms referenced by WRB moves the article from its current appearance of apparent USA-centricity and arbitrary-ness. (For those reading this and not aware), graphics are credited at their source, in this case at I have made an inquiry with USDA as to the creation date and the name of the author, currently indicated as an unnamed USDA employee. I am looking for examples of credited illustrations in the style suggested by doncram - it is not yet usual practice at WP to do it in this style, so some pointers appreciated. The distinguishing characteristics of the Australian system is problematic since none of the active editors in the Soil WikiProject have the source needed to address these. The editor who added the P horizon section and other Australian specific references is apparently on an extended wikibreak. The information added is not controversial, so while it would benefit form inline cites, the Australian-specific text need not be removed in the interim.--Paleorthid (talk) 16:39, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
Followup: The email response I got from the NRCS webmaster contacted is that the image author's name is not available. He also suggested that that the image be credited "Property of USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service", which, in the case of this specific image, I am convinced is inaccurate. Pointedly, the public domain status of the image was not explicitly disputed. I have responded with a looongwinded email, pointing to Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code placing works of USDA employees in the public domain, asking for clarification in this area, as well as elaborating why such ownership claims need to be resolved and how we at Wikipedia resolve them. I'll post more when I know more. If the response I get back is that the PD status of the image is in fact disputed by NRCS, I'll remove it until the dispute is resolved. -- Paleorthid (talk) 21:35, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
NRCS has responded saying "The illustration is a product of USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and is not copyrighted. If used, please credit the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service.” Which clears things up nicely.--Paleorthid (talk) 15:19, 7 February 2008 (UTC)