Choosing A Description Site
The first step is to select the site for the soil description. This site is usually representative of both the area of land and soil type in that area of land.
The final location of the site may be based on several soil observations using a soil auger. This is to ensure that the soil to be described is representative and any interpretations based on the soil description will be valid for the area over which the soil occurs.
To describe the soil, how deep should the hole be?
To describe a soil it is usually necessary to dig a pit that is big enough to be able to see the entire soil profile and its constituent soil horizons.
A depth of one metre is usually adequate but other depths can be used e.g. if the soil is shallow. On occasions, descriptions can also be made using road cuttings, smaller holes or samples collected by augering. However, the best information is obtained when the pit is fresh and large enough to climb into.
View photos from In the Field: showing the Sampling and Collection of Soils in the Field.