The Weber Farm site is located in southern Dunn County and extends over about 2.5 hectares. The study area occupies a landscape position that includes considerable topographic complexity that can be divided roughly equally into three distinct parts. The eastern third of the study area is a relatively gently sloping bedrock-supported upland. This convex upland portion of the study area juts outward to the west. About a third of the study area is concave upward lowlands. These lowlands bound the upland portion of the study area to the north and south. Each contain west-flowing intermittent streams. Finally, about a third of study area is the steep, bedrock-controlled escarpment (about 15 meters high) that separates the upland from a sandy glaciofluvial terrace adjacent to the west.
The major difference among these subdivisions of the study area are slope steepness and slope aspect. In general, the soils in the study area are Inceptisols. Some profiels barely qualify for that and may be better classified as Entisols. Such soils are weakly developed and lack thick, well-expressed surface and subsurface horizons. All profiles exhibit ochric surface, or A-horizons above BC or Bw horizons (in some cases, Bt-horizons are present at depth, see following paragraph).
Soils on the upland portions of the study area are mapped as Urne-Elkmound loams (map unit UeD2, 12-20% slopes, eroded) . Soil pits 1-3, and 7 are located on the upland portion of the study site. Soil profiles observed in these pits are similar to, but generally thinner and sandier than the typical soil profile described for the Urne-Elkmound loams in the Soil Survey of Dunn County, Wisconsin (Wing 1975: 49). The soils observed in Pits 1-3 and 7 are less than 50 cm thick, composed of loess-derived silt and sand derived from the underlying sandstone bedrock). They exhibit medium water holding capacity, moderate permeability, and moderate natural fertility. The upper horizons in these profiles are uniformly thin, relatively sandy, and weakly expressed. This is especially true in Profile 7. Profiles 1-3 include a thin, sometimes broken, deeply reddened, finer textured, strongly expressed Bt-horizon directly overlying weathered sandstone bedrock. In some of these profiles (notably Profiles 2 and 3), coatings of translocated clay can be seen extending downward to all or partially cover fragments of weathered bedrock. The strong degree of soil formation of these well-expressed Bt-horizons is considerable and not consistent with the weakly expressed horizonation above.
Soils on steeply sloping portions of the study area are mapped as Urne-Elkmound loams and Hixton Loams. Hixton Loams (map unit HfC2, 6-12% slopes, eroded) are restricted to the lower portions of the bedrock escarpment). Soil pits 4-6 were excavated in this portion of the study area. Soil profiles in these pits are not consistent with the typical Hixton loam profile described in the Soil Survey of Dunn County, Wisconsin (Wing 1975: 25). Rather, they are similar to soil profiles 1-3 except the tend to be thicker and underlying bedrock is consistently more weathered and no longer consolidated. Profile thickness increases in the downslope direction. Profile 6 includes a Bt-horizon at depth that is similar to those observed in Profiles 1-3 on the adjacent upland.
Soils on the lowland portion of the study area are also mapped as Hixton loams (map unit HfC2, 6-12% slopes, eroded). Pit 8 was excavated in the grassed waterway that occurs in the base of of the lowland portion of the study area. Profile 8 is not consistent with the typical Hixton Series soil profile. Rather, it is more consistent with the typical profile of the Hixton Series, Mottled Subsoil Variant (Wing 1975: 25-26). However, Profile 8 includes a buried A-horizon. The buried soil profile is characterized by a darker, thicker, better expressed surface, or A-horizon (now buried) that is associated with a relatively thick, reddened Bw horizon. The buried soil profile exhibits a greater degree of soil development than the modern surface soil that overlies it.
Detailed descriptions and photographs of each soil profile examined in this study are available via the links provided below.
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