This section is intended to introduce you to some of the aspects covered when describing a soil.
It covers some interesting and unusual soil features which are revealed on closer observation of the soil material.
It is not the purpose to give instructions on how to write a soil description, this is adequately covered in the publication ‘Soil Description Handbook’ by Milne et al. (1995) published by Manaaki Whenua Press, Lincoln, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Soil Descriptions and Soil Horizons:
What is a soil description?
A soil description describes the physical characteristics of horizons (see later) in a soil profile.
The description includes for example; horizon depth, colour, texture, consistence, structure, roots, coatings and horizon boundary.
Standard methods are used to describe these various horizon characteristics and include the use of defined terminology, for example; size classes, shapes, abundance, texture, colour and consistence.
Method and terms are in the ‘Soil Description Handbook’ by Milne et al. (1995) published by Manaaki Whenua Press, Lincoln, Canterbury, New Zealand.