Rocky Mountains NEON (RMNP) 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

D10 RMNP megapit soil profile 0-155 cm

soil profile

D10 RMNP megapit soil profile 0-33 cm

soil profile

D10 RMNP megapit soil profile 5-43 cm

soil profile

D10 RMNP megapit soil profile 34-92 cm

soil profile

D10 RMNP megapit soil profile 90-127 cm

soil profile

D10 RMNP megapit soil profil 124-155 cm

Megapit Pedon Description

Print Date Jul 22 2015
Description Date May 31 2013
Describer Andy Steinert
Site ID 2013CO069001
Site Note Castnet NEON Soil Pit; This pedon has a seasonal, perched water table on top of the Cr horizon. This seasonal water table is from snow melt. There is no hydrophytic vegetation to suggest this is a permanent water table.
Pedon ID S2013CO069001
Pedon Note The backhoe was able to scrape/dig through the Cr horizon, but not dig straight down.
Lab Source ID SSL
Lab Pedon # 13N61307
Soil Name as Described/Sampled Ustic Haplocryolls
Classification Loamy-skeletal, mixed, superactive Ustic Haplocryolls
Pedon Purpose laboratory sampling site
Taxon Kind family
Physiographic Division Rocky Mountain System
Physiographic Province Southern Rocky Mountains
Geomorphic Setting on mountainflank, lower third of mountains on mountain slope
Upslope Shape convex
Cross Slope Shape linear
Particle Size Control Section 25 to 100 cm.
Description origin NASIS
State Colorado
County Larimer
MLRA 48A -- Southern Rocky Mountains
Soil Survey Area 4-FTC -- Fort Collins, Colorado
CO642 -- Estes Park Area, Colorado, Parts of Boulder and Larimer Counties
Map Unit 7702B -- Frisco-Catamount, moist families complex, 5 to 40 percent slopes
Quad Name Longs Peak, Colorado
Std Latitude 40.2770556
Std Longitude -105.5452500
Latitude 40 degrees 16 minutes 37.40 seconds north
Longitude 105 degrees 32 minutes 42.90 seconds west
Datum WGS84
UTM Zone 13
UTM Easting 453647 meters
UTM Northing 4458653 meters
Primary Earth Cover Tree cover
Secondary Earth Cover Conifers
Existing Vegetation Arizona fescue, common juniper, Engelmann spruce, kinnikinnick, lodgepole pine, quaking aspen
Parent Material residuum weathered from granite
Bedrock Kind granite
Bedrock Depth 123 centimeters
Bedrock Hardness moderately cemented
Bedrock Fracture Interval less than 10 centimeters
Surface Fragments 2.0 percent nonflat subangular indurated 2- to 75-millimeter granite fragments and 3.0 percent nonflat subangular indurated 75- to 250-millimeter granite fragments
Description database KSSL
Diagnostic Features mollic epipedon 0 to 33 cm.
paralithic contact 123 to 198 cm.
lithic contact 198 to cm.
Top Depth (cm) 123
Bottom Depth (cm) 198
Restriction Kind bedrock, paralithic
Restriction Hardness moderately cemented
Top Depth (cm) 198
Bottom Depth (cm)  
Restriction Kind bedrock, lithic
Restriction Hardness indurated
Slope (%) 3.0
Elevation (meters) 2,758.0
Aspect (deg) 46
Drainage Class moderately well
Horizon Details

A--0 to 10 centimeters (0.0 to 3.9 inches); black (7.5YR 2.5/1) broken face loam, very dark gray (7.5YR 3/1) broken face, dry; 30 percent sand; 48 percent silt; 22 percent clay; weak fine granular structure; hard, very friable, slightly sticky, slightly plastic; common very fine roots throughout and common medium roots throughout and common fine roots throughout; 2 percent nonflat subangular indurated 2 to 5-millimeter granite fragments; noneffervescent, by HCl, 1 normal; moderately acid, pH 5.8, pH meter; a thin Oe horizon exists in places; clear smooth boundary. Lab sample # 13N06268 A--0 to 10 centimeters (0.0 to 3.9 inches); black (7.5YR 2.5/1) broken face loam, very dark gray (7.5YR 3/1) broken face, dry; 30 percent sand; 48 percent silt; 22 percent clay; weak fine granular structure; hard, very friable, slightly sticky, slightly plastic; common very fine roots throughout and common medium roots throughout and common fine roots throughout; 2 percent nonflat subangular indurated 2 to 5-millimeter granite fragments; noneffervescent, by HCl, 1 normal; moderately acid, pH 5.8, pH meter; a thin Oe horizon exists in places; clear smooth boundary. Lab sample # 13N06268

AB--10 to 33 centimeters (3.9 to 13.0 inches); very dark brown (10YR 2/2) broken face gravelly sandy clay loam, very dark grayish brown (10YR 3/2) broken face, dry; 65 percent sand; 13 percent silt; 22 percent clay; weak fine granular, and weak fine subangular blocky, and weak medium subangular blocky structure; very hard, very friable, slightly sticky, slightly plastic; common very fine roots throughout and common medium roots throughout and common fine roots throughout and common coarse roots throughout; 28 percent nonflat subangular indurated 2 to 20-millimeter granite fragments; noneffervescent, by HCl, 1 normal; slightly acid, pH 6.1, pH meter; clear wavy boundary. Lab sample # 13N06269 AB--10 to 33 centimeters (3.9 to 13.0 inches); very dark brown (10YR 2/2) broken face gravelly sandy clay loam, very dark grayish brown (10YR 3/2) broken face, dry; 65 percent sand; 13 percent silt; 22 percent clay; weak fine granular, and weak fine subangular blocky, and weak medium subangular blocky structure; very hard, very friable, slightly sticky, slightly plastic; common very fine roots throughout and common medium roots throughout and common fine roots throughout and common coarse roots throughout; 28 percent nonflat subangular indurated 2 to 20-millimeter granite fragments; noneffervescent, by HCl, 1 normal; slightly acid, pH 6.1, pH meter; clear wavy boundary. Lab sample # 13N06269

C/B--33 to 84 centimeters (13.0 to 33.1 inches); 60 percent dark yellowish brown (10YR 4/4) broken face gravelly loamy coarse sand, 60 percent light yellowish brown (10YR 6/4) broken face, dry; 80 percent sand; 16 percent silt; 4 percent clay; weak fine subangular blocky parts to weak fine granular, and weak medium subangular blocky parts to weak fine granular, and weak coarse subangular blocky parts to weak fine granular structure; soft, very friable, nonsticky, nonplastic; common medium roots throughout and common fine roots throughout; 2 percent nonflat subangular indurated 75 to 250-millimeter granite fragments and 32 percent nonflat subangular indurated 2 to 75-millimeter granite fragments; noneffervescent, by HCl, 1 normal; slightly acid, pH 6.1, pH meter; the C makes up 60% of this C/B horizon(all data for this row is for the C portion of this horizon). Lab sample # 13N06270 C/B--33 to 84 centimeters (13.0 to 33.1 inches); 60 percent dark yellowish brown (10YR 4/4) broken face gravelly loamy coarse sand, 60 percent light yellowish brown (10YR 6/4) broken face, dry; 80 percent sand; 16 percent silt; 4 percent clay; weak fine subangular blocky parts to weak fine granular, and weak medium subangular blocky parts to weak fine granular, and weak coarse subangular blocky parts to weak fine granular structure; soft, very friable, nonsticky, nonplastic; common medium roots throughout and common fine roots throughout; 2 percent nonflat subangular indurated 75 to 250-millimeter granite fragments and 32 percent nonflat subangular indurated 2 to 75-millimeter granite fragments; noneffervescent, by HCl, 1 normal; slightly acid, pH 6.1, pH meter; the C makes up 60% of this C/B horizon(all data for this row is for the C portion of this horizon). Lab sample # 13N06270

C/B--33 to 84 centimeters (13.0 to 33.1 inches); 40 percent very dark grayish brown (10YR 3/2) broken face gravelly coarse sandy loam, 40 percent grayish brown (10YR 5/2) broken face, dry; 70 percent sand; 12 percent silt; 18 percent clay; moderate medium subangular blocky parts to weak fine granular, and moderate coarse subangular blocky parts to weak fine granular structure; hard, very friable, slightly sticky, slightly plastic; common medium roots throughout and common fine roots throughout; 2 percent nonflat subangular indurated 75 to 250-millimeter granite fragments and 31 percent nonflat subangular indurated 2 to 75-millimeter granite fragments; noneffervescent, by HCl, 1 normal; moderately acid, pH 5.8, pH meter; the B makes up 40% of the C/B horizon(all data for this row relates to the B portion of the horizon); clear wavy boundary. Lab sample # 13N06271 C/B--33 to 84 centimeters (13.0 to 33.1 inches); 40 percent very dark grayish brown (10YR 3/2) broken face gravelly coarse sandy loam, 40 percent grayish brown (10YR 5/2) broken face, dry; 70 percent sand; 12 percent silt; 18 percent clay; moderate medium subangular blocky parts to weak fine granular, and moderate coarse subangular blocky parts to weak fine granular structure; hard, very friable, slightly sticky, slightly plastic; common medium roots throughout and common fine roots throughout; 2 percent nonflat subangular indurated 75 to 250-millimeter granite fragments and 31 percent nonflat subangular indurated 2 to 75-millimeter granite fragments; noneffervescent, by HCl, 1 normal; moderately acid, pH 5.8, pH meter; the B makes up 40% of the C/B horizon(all data for this row relates to the B portion of the horizon); clear wavy boundary. Lab sample # 13N06271

C--84 to 123 centimeters (33.1 to 48.4 inches); brown (7.5YR 4/4) broken face very gravelly coarse sand, light brown (7.5YR 6/4) broken face, dry; 90 percent sand; 8 percent silt; 2 percent clay; massive; soft, very friable, nonsticky, nonplastic; common medium roots throughout and common fine roots throughout; 47 percent nonflat subangular indurated 2 to 75-millimeter granite fragments; noneffervescent, by HCl, 1 normal; moderately acid, pH 6.0, pH meter; clear smooth boundary. Lab sample # 13N06272 C--84 to 123 centimeters (33.1 to 48.4 inches); brown (7.5YR 4/4) broken face very gravelly coarse sand, light brown (7.5YR 6/4) broken face, dry; 90 percent sand; 8 percent silt; 2 percent clay; massive; soft, very friable, nonsticky, nonplastic; common medium roots throughout and common fine roots throughout; 47 percent nonflat subangular indurated 2 to 75-millimeter granite fragments; noneffervescent, by HCl, 1 normal; moderately acid, pH 6.0, pH meter; clear smooth boundary. Lab sample # 13N06272

Cr--123 to 198 centimeters (48.4 to 78.0 inches); moderately cemented granite bedrock, fractured at intervals of less than 10 centimeters; very high excavation difficulty; 2 percent fine distinct 7.5YR 5/6) and 7.5YR 3/4) masses of oxidized iron at top of horizon and 3 percent medium distinct 7.5YR 5/6) and 7.5YR 3/4) masses of oxidized iron at top of horizon; noneffervescent, by HCl, 1 normal; some pockets of sandy clay material within Cr horizon. Lab sample # 13N06273 Cr--123 to 198 centimeters (48.4 to 78.0 inches); bedrock; very high excavation difficulty; 2 percent fine distinct 7.5YR 5/6) and 7.5YR 3/4) masses of oxidized iron at top of horizon and 3 percent medium distinct 7.5YR 5/6) and 7.5YR 3/4) masses of oxidized iron at top of horizon; noneffervescent, by HCl, 1 normal; some pockets of sandy clay material within Cr horizon. Lab sample # 13N06273

R--198 centimeters (78.0 inches); bedrock; extremely high excavation difficulty; noneffervescent, by HCl, 1 normal. R--198 centimeters (78.0 inches); indurated granite bedrock; extremely high excavation difficulty; noneffervescent, by HCl, 1 normal.

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.