Established Series


The Belmont series consists of deep well drained residual soils on gently sloping to very steep benches and side slopes. Permeability is moderate. They formed in residuum weathered from mainly limestone. Slope ranges from 3 to 70 percent. Mean annual precipitation is about 52 inches, and mean annual temperature is about 51 degrees F.

TAXONOMIC CLASS: Fine-loamy, mixed, active, mesic Typic Hapludalfs

TYPICAL PEDON: Belmont very stony silt loam, wooded. (Colors are for moist soils.)

Oi--0 to 1 inches; undecomposed organic materials consisting of mixed hardwood leaf litter.

Oe--1 to 2 inch; partially decomposed organic materials.

A--2 to 5 inches; dark brown (7.5YR 3/2) silt loam; moderate fine granular structure; friable; many roots; strongly acid; clear smooth boundary. (2 to 5 inches thick)

E--5 to 11 inches; brown (7.5YR 4/2) silt loam; weak fine subangular blocky structure; friable; many roots; moderately acid; gradual smooth boundary. (0 to 6 inches thick)

Bt1--11 to 23 inches; reddish brown (5YR 4/3) silty clay loam; moderate medium subangular blocky structure; firm, slightly sticky, slightly plastic; common roots; common clay films on peds; 10 percent rock fragments; moderately acid; gradual smooth boundary. (6 to 15 inches thick)

Bt2--23 to 38 inches; reddish brown (5YR 4/3) channery silty clay loam; moderate medium subangular blocky structure; firm, slightly sticky, slightly plastic; common clay films on peds; 15 percent rock fragments; slightly acid; clear wavy boundary. (10 to 24 inches thick)

C--38 to 45 inches; reddish brown (5YR 4/3) very channery clay loam with pockets of silty clay loam; massive; friable; 35 percent rock fragments; neutral; clear wavy boundary. (0 to 16 inches)

R--45 inches, hard, gray limestone.

TYPE LOCATION: Tucker County, West Virginia; 100 yards southwest of Big Springs Gap in Fernow Experimental Forest.

RANGE IN CHARACTERISTICS: Solum thickness ranges from 24 to 44 inches. Depth to bedrock is 40 to 60 inches. Rock fragments of limestone, shale, siltstone and sandstone range from 0 to 20 percent by volume in the A and B horizons and 20 to 60 percent in the C horizon. The soil ranges from strongly acid to slightly acid in the A horizon and upper part of the Bt horizon; moderately acid to neutral in the lower part of the B horizon; and moderately acid to mildly alkaline in the C horizon. Stones cover 0 to 3 percent of the soil surface. This soil has moderate shrink-swell potential.

The A horizon has hue of 7.5YR or 10YR, value and chroma of 2 or 3. The A2 horizon, where present, has hue of 5YR to 10YR, value and chroma of 2 or 3. The Ap horizon is 4 to 9 inches thick and has hue of 5YR or 7.5YR, value of 3 or 4 and chroma of 2 to 4. Textures are silt loam, loam, or silty clay loam.

The E horizon has hue of 5YR, 7.5YR, 10YR, value of 4 to 6 and chroma of 2 or 3. Texture is silt loam or silty clay loam.

Some pedons have a BA horizon with hue of 10YR or 7.5YR, value of 3 or 4, and chroma of 4. Texture is silt loam or silty clay loam.

The Bt horizon has hue of 2.5YR to 7.5YR value of 4 or 5 and chroma of 3 or 4. Texture is silty clay loam, silt loam, or clay loam, with or without thin subhorizons of silty clay. The B horizon has moderate or strong, fine to coarse subangular or angular blocky structure. BC horizon, where present has with similar colors and textures.

The C horizon has colors that are similar to that of the B horizon. Textures are silty clay loam, clay loam, sandy clay loam, or silty clay.

COMPETING SERIES: These are the Amanda, Belmore, Chili, Cliftycreek, Crouse, Gallman, Greybrook, Hickory, High Gap, Kanawha, Kidder, Kosciusko, Leroy, Lumberton, Martinsville, Military, Ockley, (T) Pignut, Princeton, Relay, Richardville, Riddles, Senachwine, Skelton, Strawn, Turnersburg, Wawaka, Wawasee, and Woodbine series in the same family.

Amanda, Hickory, Kosciusko, Rainsville, Richardville, Senachwine, Wawaka, Wawasee, and Wykoff soils sola formed in glacial till or outwash. The Belmore, Chili, and Kendalville soils have waterworn gravels throughout. Crouse soils has a lithic contact at greater than 80 inches. The Cliftycreek Greybrook and Riddles soil series are greater than 60 inches to the base of the argillic horizon. Gallman, Richland, and Skelton soils have thicker sola. Relay soils have Bt2 horizons with hues of 10YR or yellower. Kidder soils have free carbonates in the series control section. High Gap, and Military soils have bedrock within a depth of 40 inches. Kanawha soils have coarse fragments of gravel size and have formed in alluvial materials. Leroy and Strawm soils have thinner sola. The Martinsville soils formed in calcareous stratified silt, sandy and clayey materials. The (T) Pignut soils are formed in residuum from greenstone or greenstone schist. Riddles soils have more sand in the control section. Skelton soils have sola thicker than 44 inches. Ockley soils have rock fragments of water worn gravels in the lower part of the sola. Lumberton soils formed in loess or outwash over limestone residuum. Princeton soils formed in coarse silt and fine sand of Aeolian origin. The (T) Turnersburg soils are formed in residuum from igneous or metamorphic rock. Woodbine soils have an upper solum formed in loess and glacial till and a lower solum formed in weathered residuum of limestone.

GEOGRAPHIC SETTING: Belmont soils are gently sloping to very steep soils on benches and side slopes. Slopes range from 3 to 70 percent. These soils formed in material weathered mainly from limestone with some interbedding of shale, siltstone, and sandstone. Bedrock outcrops are common in some areas. The average annual precipitation ranges from about 45 to 55 inches, and a mean annual temperature of 47 to 59 degrees F.

GEOGRAPHICALLY ASSOCIATED SOILS: These are the Albright, Berks, Calvin, Cateache, Dekalb, Meckesville, and Shouns series. Albrights and Meckesville soils formed in colluvium, are deeper to bedrock, and have fragipans. Shouns soils formed in colluvium and are deep to bedrock. The Berks, Calvin, and Dekalb soils have more than 35 percent coarse fragments in the particle-size control section, base saturation less than 35 percent, and lack argillic horizons. Cateache soils have base saturation less than 60 percent and are moderately deep.

DRAINAGE AND PERMEABILITY: Well drained. The potential for surface runoff is low to high. Permeability is moderate.

USE AND VEGETATION: About 60 percent is cleared and in pasture. Most of the remaining acreage is in mixed hardwoods. Native trees were mainly red, black and white oak, sugar maple, yellow poplar, white ash, basswood, shagbark hickory, black walnut, and black locust.

DISTRIBUTION AND EXTENT: Mainly eastern part of the Allegheny Plateau in West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, possibly in Maryland and Kentucky. Extent is moderate.


SERIES ESTABLISHED: Monroe County, West Virginia, 1925.

REMARKS: Diagnostic horizons recognized in this pedon are:

a. Ochric epipedon - the zone from the surface to a depth of 11 inches. (A and E horizons)

b. Argillic horizon - the zone from 11 to 38 inches. (Bt1 and Bt2 horizon)

National Cooperative Soil Survey