Established Series


The Alden series consists of very deep, very poorly drained soils in depressions and low areas on upland till Plains. They formed in a silty local depositional mantle overlying till. Slope ranges from 0 to 8 percent. Saturated hydraulic conductivity is moderately high or high in the surface layer and low to moderately high in the subsoil and substratum.The mean annual temperature is about 48 degrees F., and mean annual precipitation is about 36 inches.

TAXONOMIC CLASS: Fine-loamy, mixed, active, nonacid, mesic Mollic Endoaquepts

TYPICAL PEDON: Alden silt loam on a 1 percent slope in a pasture. (Colors are for moist soil unless otherwise noted.)

A-- 0 to 7 inches; black (10YR 2/1) mucky silt loam; moderate coarse granular structure; friable; many fine roots; 5 percent gravel; slightly acid; clear wavy boundary. (2 to 9 inches thick.)

Bg1-- 7 to 15 inches; gray (N 5/) silt loam; weak fine subangular blocky structure; friable; few roots; few fine pores; 5 percent gravel; few fine prominent yellowish brown (10YR 5/4) redoximorphic concentrations; slightly acid; clear wavy boundary.

Bg2-- 15 to 30 inches; dark gray (10YR 4/1) silt loam; weak coarse prismatic structure parting to weak coarse subangular blocky; friable; few fine pores with faint patchy clay linings; 5 percent gravel; few fine and medium distinct yellowish brown (10YR 5/4) redoximorphic concentrations; neutral; gradual wavy boundary. (Combined thickness of the Bg horizon is 12 to 40 inches.)

C-- 30 to 72 inches; grayish brown (10YR 5/2) gravelly loam; weak medium plate-like divisions; firm; few fine pores; 20 percent gravel; slightly effervescent in lower part; common fine prominent yellowish brown (10YR 5/6) redoximorphic concentrations; slightly alkaline.

TYPE LOCATION: Wyoming County, New York; Town of Warsaw, 700 feet north of U.S. Rt. 20A and 50 feet west of Adams Rd. USGS Castile, NY topographic quadrangle; Latitude 42 degrees, 44 minutes, 47 seconds N. and Longitude 78 degrees, 4 minutes, 55 seconds W. NAD 1927.

RANGE IN CHARACTERISTICS: Solum thickness ranges from 19 to 48 inches. Depth to free carbonates is greater than 40 inches. Rock fragments range from 0 to 15 percent in solum and from 5 to 35 percent in the C horizon.

The Ap or A horizon has hue of 10YR and 2.5Y, value of 2 or 3, and chroma of 0 through 2. Texture of the fine-earth fraction ranges from fine sandy loam to silt loam. Some pedons do not have a mucky surface. Structure is weak or moderate granular. Consistence is friable or very friable. Reaction ranges from strongly acid through neutral. Some undisturbed areas have an 0 horizon 2 to 6 inches thick.

The Bg horizon has hue of 5YR through 5Y or 5GY, or is neutral with value of 4 through 6, and chroma of 0 through 2. Redoximorphic concentrations are few to many and distinct or prominent. Texture of the fine-earth fraction ranges from very fine sandy loam or silt loam to silty clay loam. Structure is subangular blocky, which may be within coarse or very coarse prisms, or it is massive. Consistence is friable or firm. Reaction ranges from moderately acid through neutral.

Some pedons have an Eg horizon with platy structure, color value of 5 or 7 and chroma of 0 or 1. Texture is similar to the Bg horizon.

The C horizon has hue of 5YR through 5Y,or neutral, value of 3 through 6, and chroma of 0 through 3. Redoximorphic features are few to many and faint to prominent. Texture of the fine-earth fraction is fine sandy loam, loam, silt loam, or silty clay loam. It is massive or has weak plate-like divisions. Reaction ranges from moderately acid through slightly alkaline to a depth of 40 inches, and ranges from slightly acid through moderately alkaline at depths greater than 40 inches.

COMPETING SERIES: The Lyons series is in the same family. Lyons soils have free carbonates at depths less than 40 inches.

The Atherton, Birdsall, and Canandaigua soils are members of related families. Atherton soils have dominant chroma of more than 2 within a depth of 30 inches. Birdsall soils have a coarse-silty particle size control section and Canandaigua soils have a fine-silty particle-size control section.

GEOGRAPHIC SETTING: Alden soils are nearly level and are in depressions on till plains. Slope ranges from 0 to 3 percent. The soils formed in loamy till with an 18 to 40 inch thick mantle of local depositional material. Mean annual temperature ranges from 46 to 51 degrees F; mean annual precipitation ranges from 28 to 48 inches; and mean annual frost-free period ranges from 140 to 180 days.

GEOGRAPHICALLY ASSOCIATED SOILS: Alden soils are very poorly drained associates of the well drained Bath and Valois soils, the moderately well drained Cambridge, Langford and Mardin soils, the somewhat poorly drained Erie, Venango, and Volusia soils, the poorly drained Ashville soils, and the poorly and very poorly drained Chippewa soils all of which are on uplands. Alton, Chenango, and Howard soils are on nearby outwash terraces. Wayland soils are in nearby valley flood plains. Chippewa soils are in depressions.

DRAINAGE AND PERMEABILITY: Very poorly drained. The potential for surface runoff is negligible or very low. Saturated hydraulic conductivity is moderately high or high in the surface layer and low to moderately high in the subsoil and substratum.

USE AND VEGETATION: Most areas are wooded, with stands of alder, red and silver maple, green and black ash, hemlock, white cedar, willow, and elm. Some areas are cleared and are largely used for pasture. Some abandoned cleared areas are reverting back to hydrophytic shrubs and herbaceous plants.

DISTRIBUTION AND EXTENT: Western Connecticut, northern New Jersey and Allegheny Plateau of New York and northern Pennsylvania. MLRA 140, 101, and 144A. The series is moderately extensive.


SERIES ESTABLISHED: Erie County, New York, 1929.

REMARKS: Original classification placed Alden in the great group of Haplaquepts. Because of changes in the 5th edition to `Keys to Soil Taxonomy' this soil now classifies in the new great group of Endoaquepts. Competing series may change as similar soils are reclassified. This description restricts the series to upland areas with the soil developed wholly or partly in loamy local alluvium underlain by till.

Diagnostic horizons and features recognized in the typical pedon include:

1) Mollic Epipedon - the zone from the surface to a depth of 7 inches (A horizon)
2) Cambic horizon - the zone from 7 to 30 inches (Bg horizons)
3) Aquepts suborder - aquic moisture regime, and low chroma matrix with redoximorphic features within a depth of 20 inches (Bg horizon)

Soil Interpretation Record No.: NY0100, NY0101

National Cooperative Soil Survey