U.S. Soil Taxonomy

U.S. Soil Taxonomy

U.S. Soil Taxonomy
soil order defining characteristics name derivation percent of Earth's land area*
Alfisol moderate leaching; B horizon enriched in clay; humid forest vegetation Pedalfer (C.F. Marbut) 9.77                  
Andisol volcanic-ash parent material an do (Japanese: "dark soil") 0.73                  
Aridisol hot, dry climate; weak B horizon aridus (Latin: "dry") 18.53                  
Entisol little or no horizonation or swelling clay recent 10.61                  
Gelisol permafrost within 2 metres (approximately 

6 feet) of the land surface gelid (Greek: "very cold") —               
Histosol organic parent material histos (Greek: "tissue") 1.84                  
Inceptisol little or no B horizon development inceptum (Latin: "beginning") 21.80                  
Mollisol thick, soft, black A horizon mollis (Latin: "soft") 5.99                  
Oxisol hot, humid climate; B horizon enriched in iron and aluminum oxides and kaolinite oxide (French) 7.00                  
Spodosol cool, humid climate; B horizon enriched in iron and aluminum oxides and organic matter; sandy parent material spodos (Greek: "wood ashes") 3.45                  
Ultisol warm, humid climate; B horizon enriched in clay; extensive leaching ultimus (Latin: "last") 8.12                  
Vertisol little or no horizonation; high content of swelling clay vertere (Latin: "to turn") 2.23                  
*Rock, sand, and bodies of water account for 5.25% of the continental land area in the world between 75° N and 75° S latitude. Gelisols cover about 18 million square km (7 million square miles) largely outside these latitudes, mostly in Russia and Canada.
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