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Hydrology and Hydric Soil Extent within a Mollisol Catena in Southeastern Minnesota

Thompson, James A., Bell, Jay C., Zanner, C. William
Soil Science Society of America journal 1998 v.62 no.4 pp. 1126-1133
geographical distribution, Mollisols, monitoring, landscapes, stratigraphy, water flow, catenas, hydromorphic soils, wetland soils, landscape position, soil water movement, Minnesota
A landscape perspective is essential when examining the relationships among soil hydrology, hydric soil conditions, and soil hydromorphic properties because pedogenic processes, which are mainly driven by the presence and flow of water, are not restricted to a vertical soil profile. The objectives of this study were to: (i) examine the soil geomorphic properties that control water movement over and through soils of a catena in southeastern Minnesota, (ii) describe this water movement using soil water monitoring data and terrain analysis, and (iii) relate these monitoring and modeling results to the distribution of hydric soils in this landscape. Local shallow groundwater flow is lateral along this hillslope and is governed by parent material stratigraphy, particularly the presence of a sandy colluvium subsoil layer over dense till in lower landscape positions. The topographic influence on surface and near-surface water flow and storage predicts saturated surface conditions farther upslope of the drainageway int he vicinity of low-order, low-relief drainages perpendicular to the drainageway. The hydric soil boundary also occurs farther upslope in the vicinity of these same low-order drainages. Contribution no. 971250010 from the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, St. Paul, MN.