Niwot Ridge NEON (NIWO) Soil Descriptions

Pedon Descriptions

Pit‐level observations and field measurements reported using the standard NRCS format. They contain volume estimates for coarse fragments > 20 mm where applicable.

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Site Level Plot Summary

A narrative summary that places the sampled soil pedons in the broader context of soils and geomorphology for the entire NEON site.

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soil profile

D13 NIWO megapit soil profile 0-200 cm

soil profile

D13 NIWO megapit soil profile 0-25 cm

soil profile

D13 NIWO megapit soil profile 024-44 cm

soil profile

D13 NIWO megapit soil profile 33-60 cm

soil profile

D13 NIWO megapit soil profile 53-79 cm

soil profile

D13 NIWO megapit soil profile 84-133 cm

soil profile

D13 NIWO megapit soil profile 84-113 cm

Megapit Pedon Description

Print Date Jul 22 2015
Description Date Aug 19 2014
Describer Andy Steinert, Clark Harshbarger, Willian Shoup
Site ID 2014CO013001
Site Note This site is the location of the Niwot Ridge NEON (National Ecological Observatory Network) site. All location information was measured at the soil pit.
Pedon ID S2014CO013501
Pedon Note At the time of this description there were no series to fit the classification of coarse-loamy, mixed, superactive Typic Haplocryolls. The best fit at this time was to use the 'taxon above family' and call it the Moran Family from the map unit, Moran family-Lithic Cryorthents-Rubble land complex, 5 to 40 percent slopes (MUSYM 8776B). The soil pit was located within this map unit. The Moran family is classified as a loamy-skeletal, mixed, superactive Humic Dystrocryepts in the Arapahoe-Roosevelt National Forest Soil Survey (v3, Dec. 23, 2013). The differences in this pedon are the amount of rock fragments, the paralithic contact, and the mollic epipedon. This pedon has a paralithic contact at 110 centimenters and the rock fragments are less than 35 percent in the particle size control section. The mollic epipedon was very high in organic matter (decompossed) and would be similar to the 'Humic' subgroup for the Dystrocryepts. Please note, that the classification on the OSD for the Moran series has been updated to loamy-skeletal, mixed, superactive Typic Humicryepts.
Lab Source ID KSSL
Lab Pedon # 14N0993
Soil Name as Described/Sampled Moran
Classification Coarse-loamy, mixed, superactive Typic Haplocryolls
Pedon Type undefined observation
Pedon Purpose research site
Taxon Kind taxon above family
Associated Soils Leighcan family, Lithic Cryorthents, Moran family
Physiographic Division Rocky Mountain System
Physiographic Province Southern Rocky Mountains
Local Physiographic Area Niwot Ridge
Geomorphic Setting on mountainflank, center third of mountain slope on mountain range
Upslope Shape convex
Cross Slope Shape convex
Particle Size Control Section 25 to 100 cm.
Description origin NASIS
State Colorado
County Boulder
MLRA 48A -- Southern Rocky Mountains
Soil Survey Area CO645 -- Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest Area, Colorado, Parts of Boulder, Clear Creek, Gilpin, Grand, Park and Larimer Counties
4-FTC -- Fort Collins, Colorado
Map Unit 8776B -- Moran family-Lithic Cryorthents-Rubble land complex, 5 to 40 percent slopes
Quad Name Ward, Colorado
Std Latitude 40.0523600
Std Longitude -105.5832400
Latitude 40 degrees 3 minutes 8.50 seconds north
Longitude 105 degrees 34 minutes 59.70 seconds west
Datum WGS84
UTM Zone 13
UTM Easting 450252 meters
UTM Northing 4433732 meters
Primary Earth Cover Grass/herbaceous cover
Secondary Earth Cover Tundra rangeland
Existing Vegetation alpine bluegrass, alpine clover, alpine sagebrush, elk sedge, Fern or Fern Ally, fir, moss campion, phlox, Pyrenean sedge, Ross' avens, snow cinquefoil, timber oatgrass
Parent Material glaciofluvial deposits over residuum weathered from granite, gneiss, schist
Bedrock Kind granite
Bedrock Depth 110 centimeters
Bedrock Hardness indurated
Surface Fragments 3.0 percent nonflat subangular indurated 2- to 75-millimeter granite fragments
Description database KSSL
Diagnostic Features mollic epipedon 0 to 30 cm.
cambic horizon 30 to 79 cm.
paralithic contact 110 to cm.
Top Depth (cm) 110
Restriction Kind bedrock, paralithic
Slope (%) 13.0
Elevation (meters) 3,474.0
Aspect (deg) 135
Drainage Class well
Horizon Details

A1--0 to 14 centimeters (0.0 to 5.5 inches); black (7.5YR 2.5/1) broken face loam, brown (7.5YR 4/2) broken face, dry; 45 percent sand; 40 percent silt; 15 percent clay; moderate medium granular, and weak fine subangular blocky structure; soft, very friable, nonsticky, nonplastic; many very fine roots throughout and common medium roots throughout and common fine roots throughout; 3 percent nonflat subrounded indurated 2 to 75-millimeter granite fragments; noneffervescent, by HCl, 1 normal; strongly acid, pH 5.3, pH meter; this horizon is very high in highly decompossed organic matter; clear smooth boundary. Lab sample # 14N04815

A2--14 to 30 centimeters (5.5 to 11.8 inches); dark brown (7.5YR 3/2) broken face loam, brown (7.5YR 4/2) broken face, dry; 45 percent sand; 40 percent silt; 15 percent clay; moderate medium granular, and weak fine subangular blocky, and moderate fine granular structure; soft, very friable, nonsticky, nonplastic; many very fine roots throughout and common medium roots throughout and common fine roots throughout; 3 percent nonflat subrounded indurated 2 to 75-millimeter granite fragments; noneffervescent, by HCl, 1 normal; strongly acid, pH 5.3, pH meter; gradual wavy boundary. Lab sample # 14N04816

Bw1--30 to 49 centimeters (11.8 to 19.3 inches); brown (7.5YR 4/3) broken face gravelly sandy loam, dark yellowish brown (10YR 4/4) broken face, dry; 70 percent sand; 22 percent silt; 8 percent clay; weak medium subangular blocky, and weak coarse subangular blocky structure; slightly hard, very friable, nonsticky, nonplastic; common very fine roots throughout and common medium roots throughout and common fine roots throughout; 1 percent nonflat subrounded indurated 380 to 600-millimeter granite fragments and 2 percent nonflat subrounded indurated 76 to 250-millimeter granite fragments and 20 percent nonflat subrounded indurated 2 to 75-millimeter granite fragments; noneffervescent, by HCl, 1 normal; strongly acid, pH 5.4, pH meter; this horizon has a partial stone line that is very gravelly to extremely gravelly in the left side of the pit, it does not show on the right side of the pit; gradual wavy boundary. Lab sample # 14N04817

Bw2--49 to 79 centimeters (19.3 to 31.1 inches); brown (7.5YR 4/4) broken face sandy loam, yellowish brown (10YR 5/4) broken face, dry; 70 percent sand; 22 percent silt; 8 percent clay; weak very coarse subangular blocky, and weak coarse subangular blocky structure; slightly hard, very friable, nonsticky, nonplastic; common very fine roots throughout and common fine roots throughout; common very fine pores; 1 percent nonflat subrounded indurated 380 to 600-millimeter granite fragments and 2 percent nonflat subrounded indurated 76 to 250-millimeter granite fragments and 8 percent nonflat subrounded indurated 2 to 75-millimeter granite fragments; noneffervescent, by HCl, 1 normal; strongly acid, pH 5.4, pH meter; gradual wavy boundary. Lab sample # 14N04818

2C--79 to 110 centimeters (31.1 to 43.3 inches); brown (7.5YR 4/4) broken face sandy loam, yellowish brown (10YR 5/4) broken face, dry; 75 percent sand; 17 percent silt; 8 percent clay; massive; soft, very friable, nonsticky, nonplastic; common very fine roots throughout; 1 percent nonflat subrounded indurated 380 to 600-millimeter granite fragments and 5 percent nonflat subrounded indurated 76 to 250-millimeter granite fragments and 7 percent nonflat subrounded indurated 2 to 75-millimeter granite fragments; noneffervescent, by HCl, 1 normal; moderately acid, pH 5.6, pH meter; gradual wavy boundary. Lab sample # 14N04819

2(C)/Cr--110 to 200 centimeters (43.3 to 78.7 inches); indurated granite bedrock; This horizon has a good example of the uplift of the granite, gniess, and schist in this area. The paralithic material (Cr) is angled upward in the lower left-hand part of the pit, while the C and Cr material in the right-hand side of the it is relatively horizontal. It was very evident in the pit that the Cr and C material at one point in time was horizontal and connected. Lab sample # 14N04820

2C/(Cr)--110 to 200 centimeters (43.3 to 78.7 inches); brown (7.5YR 4/4) broken face loamy sand, light yellowish brown (10YR 6/4) broken face, dry; 80 percent sand; 14 percent silt; 6 percent clay; 2 percent coarse prominent (7.5YR 6/8) and 3 percent medium prominent (7.5YR 6/8) mottles; massive; soft, very friable, nonsticky, nonplastic; 1 percent nonflat subrounded indurated 380 to 600-millimeter granite fragments and 2 percent nonflat subrounded indurated 76 to 250-millimeter granite fragments and 5 percent nonflat subrounded indurated 2 to 75-millimeter granite fragments; noneffervescent, by HCl, 1 normal; moderately acid, pH 5.9, pH meter. Lab sample # 14N04820

Credits: This megapit soil pedon description was generously created by USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service staff, with particular thanks to Larry West, Jon Hempel, and numerous field staff.