LOCATION BERNARDSTON MA+CT NH NY VTEstablished Series
TAXONOMIC CLASS: Coarse-loamy, mixed, active, mesic Oxyaquic Dystrudepts
TYPICAL PEDON: Bernardston silt loam, on a 10 percent slope in a cultivated field. (Colors are for moist soil unless otherwise noted.)
Ap--0 to 6 inches; very dark grayish brown (10YR 3/2) silt loam, light brownish gray (10YR 6/2) dry; moderate medium granular structure; very friable; 5 percent phyllite channers; many fine roots; strongly acid; abrupt smooth boundary. (5 to l0 inches thick)
Bw1--6 to 10 inches; dark yellowish brown (10YR 4/4) silt loam; weak fine granular structure; very friable; 10 percent phyllite channers; many fine roots; strongly acid; gradual smooth boundary.
Bw2--10 to 20 inches; olive brown (2.5Y 4/4) channery silt loam; weak fine granular structure; very friable; common fine roots; 15 percent phyllite channers; strongly acid; abrupt wavy boundary. (Combined thickness of the Bw horizons is 7 to 25 inches.)
Cd1--20 to 36 inches; olive gray (5Y 4/2) channery silt loam; weak medium platy structure; very firm; few roots in upper part; few to common fine discontinuous vesicular pores; thin discontinuous films in pores; 25 percent phyllite and slate channers; strongly acid; gradual smooth boundary. (10 to 25 inches thick)
Cd2--36 to 65 inches; olive gray (5Y 4/2) channery silt loam; weak medium platy structure; firm; 30 percent phyllite and slate channers; strongly acid.
TYPE LOCATION: Franklin County, Massachusetts; town of Bernardston, 100 feet west of U.S. Route 5 at a point 0.4 miles north of the intersection of U.S. Route 5 and Massachusetts Route 10. Bernardston 7 1/2 minute quadrangle; latitude 42 degrees 40 minutes 38 seconds North and longitude 72 degrees 33 minutes 10 seconds West, NAD 27.
RANGE IN CHARACTERISTICS: Solum thickness commonly ranges from 20 to 30 inches and generally is the same as the depth to the dense substratum. The solum is silt loam, loam, or very fine sandy loam in the fine-earth fraction with more than 65 percent silt plus very fine sand. The volume of rock fragments larger than 3 inches ranges from 0 to 25 percent in the A horizon and 0 to 10 percent in the B and C horizons. Rock fragments smaller than 3 inches range from 5 to 25 percent in the A and B horizons, and 5 to 35 percent in the C horizon. The soil ranges from very strongly acid to moderately acid except where limed.
Some pedons have an O horizon 1 to 4 inches thick.
The Ap or A horizon has hue of 7.5YR to 2.5Y, value of 3 or 4, and chroma of 2 or 3. The A horizon has weak or moderate, fine or medium granular structure and friable or very friable consistence.
Some pedons have an E horizon 1 to 3 inches thick that has hue of 10YR or 2.5Y, value of 2 to 6, and chroma of 0 to 2.
The Bw horizon has hue of 7.5YR to 2.5Y, value of 4 or 5, and chroma of 2 to 6. Hue of 7.5YR is restricted to the upper part of the Bw horizon. The Bw horizon has weak or moderate, fine or medium granular structure or weak, fine or medium subangular blocky structure and very friable or friable consistence.
Some pedons have a BC horizon with characteristics similar to the lower part of the Bw.
The Cd horizon has hue of 2.5Y or 5Y, value of 4 or 5, and chroma of 2 to 4. It has weak or moderate, medium platy structure or it is massive. Fine-earth texture is silt loam, loam, or very fine sandy loam. It is firm or very firm.
COMPETING SERIES: Amostown, Broadbrook, Horseneck (tentative), Nantucket, Paxton, Scituate, and Wethersfield soils are in the same family. Amostown soils are underlain by stratified very fine sand or silt within a depth of 40 inches. Broadbrook soils have a lithologic discontinuity at the top of the substratum. Horseneck soils do not have dense materials in the substratum. Scituate soils have sandy substrata. Nantucket soils have a lithologic discontinuity and formed in till mixed with Pleistocene Age silts and clays. Paxton soils have less than 65 percent silt plus very fine sand in the solum. Wethersfield soils have hues of 2.5YR or 5YR in the B horizon.
GEOGRAPHIC SETTING: Bernardston soils are nearly level to very steep and are on glaciated uplands and drumlins. Slope is commonly 8 to 25 percent, but ranges from 0 to 50 percent. The soils formed in acid, dense till derived mainly from dark gray phyllite, shale, slate, and schist. Mean annual temperature ranges from 45 to 52 degrees F. Mean annual precipitation ranges from 40 to 50 inches. The frost-free period ranges from 120 to 180 days.
GEOGRAPHICALLY ASSOCIATED SOILS: These are the Cardigan, Dutchess, Kearsarge, Mansfield, Nassau, Pittstown, Quonset, Stissing, and Warwick soils on nearby landscapes. Kearsarge and Nassau soils have a lithic contact within a depth of 20 inches. The moderately well drained Pittstown, the poorly drained Stissing, and the very poorly drained Mansfield soils are associated in a drainage sequence. Quonset and Warwick soils are on outwash plains, terraces, eskers, and kames.
DRAINAGE AND PERMEABILITY: Well drained. Saturated hydraulic conductivity is moderately high or high in the solum and low to moderately high in the substratum. Runoff is low to high.
USE AND VEGETATION: Mostly woodland. Cleared areas are used mainly for growing hay, pasture, silage, corn, and apples. Common trees in woodlots include sugar maple, beech, white birch, white pine, red maple, northern red oak, white oak, and hemlock.
DISTRIBUTION AND EXTENT: Glacial uplands in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and eastern New York (MLRAs 142, 144A, 144B, and 145). The series is of moderate extent, about 20,000 acres.
MLRA SOIL SURVEY REGIONAL OFFICE (MO) RESPONSIBLE: Amherst, Massachusetts
SERIES ESTABLISHED: Connecticut Valley Area, Connecticut-Massachusetts, 1903.
REMARKS: Cation exchange activity class was determined from a review of available data and similar soils.
The Second Edition of the Keys to Soil Taxonomy, Agricultural Handbook 436 (1999) distinguishes a shallow soil depth class family based upon the presence of a densic contact at a depth less than 50 cm. from the mineral soil surface. Soils correlated and/or published as the Bernardston series prior to 1996 may have included what would now be classified as a shallow family of Oxyaquic Dystrudepts. These soils are of minor extent throughout the range of the Bernardston series.
Diagnostic horizons and features recognized in this pedon include:
1. Ochric epipedon - from 0 to 6 inches (Ap horizon).
2. Cambic horizon - from 6 to 20 inches (Bw horizons).
3. Densic material - unaltered very firm and firm basal till at a depth of 20 to 65 inches (Cd horizon).
4. Oxyaquic feature - based upon saturation in one or more layers within 100 cm of the mineral soil surface, for one month or more per year, in 6 out of 10 years. A perched water table is at 18 to 24 inches February to April.
ADDITIONAL DATA: Full characterization data for samples S93MA011005, S78NH005024, S77NH019001, and S68VT021005. Analyzed by the National Soil Survey Laboratory, Lincoln, NE.