The practice pits today were located in the Chippewa National Forest north of the town of Deer River, a half hour west of Grand Rapids. The first pit was located on an outwash plain under towering red pines.
Photo 1. Soil profile from the first pit.
Photo 2. Closeup showing some lamellae (dark wavy lines) in the lighter sandy matrix.
Photo 3. A close examination of the pit reveals many interesting features. (l to r) Leslee Jackson, Rusty Zimmerman, and Teng Vang.
Photo 4. The second pit was quite a bit wetter and had an incipient sporadic horizon and some well-developed redoximorphic features.
The second set of pits were located on a broad summit a few miles away in on a glacial moraine landscape. Basswood, aspen, maple, and balsam fir were the dominant forest species. The third site of the day had a moderately thick loess cap over loamy glacial till. The texture was considerably heavier than the previous two sites.
Photo 5. Rusty Zimmerman examines the profile for the third pit.
Photo 6. Most of the samples have been collected and now it's time to analyze them: texture, color, consistence, effervescence, and so forth. (l to r) Sondra Larson, Andrea Williams, Amanda Wolff, Teng Vang, Leslee Jackson, and Rusty Zimmerman.
Tomorrow we head east to view soils formed in the Glacial Lake Upham basin near Floodwood. Many of the soils there are organic soils, which will be a new experience for all of the nearly 100 students in the competition. Should be a great experience!