Thursday, September 20, 2018

2018 Region V Soil Judging Contest: Practice Days 1-3

Gopher Nation: Our sincerest apologies as we have been staying at Tuttle Creek State park just outside of Manhattan, KS with little to no internet access. Tonight's post is an update on the week's activities, which have so far included 3 days of practice pits in and around Riley and Pottawatomie counties.

Kansas has been hot! Temperatures have peaked at over 90F every day since we arrived.

Our students have had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with 12 unique soils in 3 different landscapes. 

On practice Day 1 (Monday), the team described 4 soils on the Buck Creek terrace (the oldest high terrace surface near the junction of the Kansas and Big Blue rivers) formed in loess and reworked loess:

The team describing a Paleustoll formed in loess on a summit position.
An eroded Mollisol (which now classifies as a Haplustalf) on a 7% backslope formed in loess.
On practice Day 2 (Tuesday), the team described 4 soils in glaciated uplands on the Brunkow Farm in northeastern Pottawatomie county:

Glaciated landscape in northeastern Kansas
The team in deep discussion about parent material choices. Pictured (L-R near top of image): Autumn Boxum, Geneva Nunes, Harley Braun, Gabe Benitez, Will Effertz. Pictured (sitting top-bottom): Morgan Fabian, Devon Brodie, Matt Bluhm.
An Argiustoll formed from Illinoian or pre-Illinoian glacial till on a summit position. There is a purple Sioux quartzite coarse fragment just to the left and below the 20cm mark on the black and white photo tape. That rock was likely transported from Minnesota or South Dakota!

On practice Day 3 (Wednesday), the team described 4 soils in the Flint Hills south of Manhattan, KS:

Flint Hills high prairie summit position. This soil is formed in loess over limestone residuum.
An Argiustoll formed in colluvium over Permian mudstone residuum on a backslope.
Tomorrow brings contest day. The team has made excellent progress in understanding Kansan soils and landscapes. 

We are at one with our soil texture triangles.