Established Series


The Buncombe series consists of very deep, excessively drained sandy soils on nearly level to gently sloping flood plains in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain. They formed in sandy alluvium washed from soils formed in residuum from schist, gneiss, granite, phyllite, and other metamorphic and igneous rocks of the Piedmont. Slopes range from 0 to 6 percent. Mean annual precipitation is 48 inches and mean annual temperature is 59 degrees F. near the type location.

TAXONOMIC CLASS: Mixed, thermic Typic Udipsamments

TYPICAL PEDON: Buncombe loamy sand--pasture. (Colors are for moist soil unless otherwise stated.)

Ap--0 to 10 inches; brown (10YR 5/3) loamy sand; weak fine granular structure; loose; many fine fibrous roots; few fine flakes of mica; slightly acid; abrupt smooth boundary. (6 to 15 inches thick)

Bw--10 to 13 inches; light brown (7.5YR 6/4) sand; single grained; loose; few fine and medium roots; few medium flakes of mica; moderately acid; abrupt smooth boundary.

Bw2--13 to 16 inches; reddish yellow (7.5YR 6/6) loamy fine sand; single grained; loose; few fine and medium roots; few medium flakes of mica; moderately acid; clear wavy boundary.

Bw3--16 to 55 inches; brown (7.5YR 5/4) sand, few grains of reddish yellow and black; single grained; loose; few medium flakes of mica; moderately acid; gradual smooth boundary. (Combined thickness of the Bw horizons is 0 to 60 inches.)

C--55 to 65 inches; reddish brown (5YR 5/4) sandy loam; few fine and medium faint mottles of strong brown and yellowish brown; massive; very friable; few medium flakes of mica; moderately acid.

TYPE LOCATION: Catawba County, North Carolina; on Clark's Creek at County Road 2009.

RANGE IN CHARACTERISTICS: Depth to hard bedrock is more than 10 feet. Layers of gravel and cobbles are in the substrata of some pedons below a depth of 40 inches. Few to many mica flakes are present throughout the profile. Reaction ranges from very strongly acid to slightly acid. The A, Bw and C horizons to a
depth of 40 inches are sand, loamy sand, or loamy fine sand. In addition, The C horizon may be fine sand within a depth of 40 inches. Below a depth of 40 inches, textures of the C horizon range from sand to loam or are stratified.

The A or Ap horizon has hue of 5YR to 2.5Y, value of 3 to 5, and chroma of 2 to 6. Some pedons have an Ab horizon below a depth of 40 inches that has the same color and texture range of the A horizon.

The Bw horizon,where present, has hue of 5YR to 10YR, value of 4 to 6, and chroma of 4 to 8.

The C horizon has hue of 5YR to 2.5Y, value of 3 to 8, and chroma of 3 to 8. Chroma 2 or less mottles are in some pedons below a depth of 40 inches but are not iron depletions associated with wetness.

COMPETING SERIES: These are the Assateague, Crevasse, Malden, Peveto, and Tarboro series in the same family. Those in closely related families are the Bruno, Molena, Thomson, and Wando series. Assatgeague, Crevasse, Malden, and Tarboro soils do not contain as much mica or do not contain mica. In addition,
Assateague and Peveto soils are formed from marine sediments. Bruno soils have thin strata of loamy very fine sand or finer texture in the 10 to 40 inch control section. Molena and Thomson soils occur on adjacent stream terraces. Wando soils are siliceous and do not contain mica.

GEOGRAPHIC SETTING: Buncombe soils are on nearly level to gently sloping flood plains in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain, usually adjacent to stream channels. Slopes range from 0 to 6 percent. The soil formed in sandy alluvium. Mean annual air temperature ranges from 58 to 68 degrees F., and mean annual precipitation
ranges from 37 to 69 inches.

GEOGRAPHICALLY ASSOCIATED SOILS: These are the Cartecay, Chewacla, Congaree, Riverview, Toccoa, and Wehadkee series. All of these soils are loamy. In additon, Cartecay, Chewacla and Wehadkee soils have a water table within 60 inches and have redox depletions with matrix colors of chroma 2 or less.

DRAINAGE AND PERMEABILITY: Excessively drained; very slow runoff; rapid and very rapid permeability.

USE AND VEGETATION: More than one-half of the soil has been cleared and is used for growing pasture or crops. A few areas are in loblolly, longleaf, or shortleaf pines. Natural vegetation consists mainly of hardwoods such as sweetgum, oaks, birch, elm, ash, hickory, yellow- poplar, sycamore, and willow

DISTRIBUTION AND EXTENT: Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. The series is of moderate extent.


SERIES ESTABLISHED: Buncombe County, North Carolina; 1946.

REMARKS: In the typical pedon, the February, 1989 revision recognized a Bw horizon that does not meet the textural requirement for a cambic horizon.

Diagnostic horizons and features recognized in this pedon are:
Ochric Epipedon - the zone from the surface of the soil to a depth of 10 inches (Ap horizon).

MLRAs = 136, 133A, 153A, 137



SOI-5  Soil Name Slope Airtemp FrFr/Seas Precip Elevation
NC0078 BUNCOMBE  0-6   58-68   180-250   37-69  10-700 

SOI-5 FloodL FloodH Watertable Kind Months Bedrock Hardness NC0078 RARE FREQ >6.0 - >60

SOI-5 Depth Texture 3-Inch No-10 Clay% -CEC- NC0078 0-10 LS LFS S 0-0 98-100 3-12 2-10 NC0078 10-55 LS LFS S 0-0 98-100 3-12 1-10 NC0078 55-65 VAR - - - -

SOI-5 Depth -pH- O.M. Salin Permeab Shnk-Swll NC0078 0-10 4.5-6.5 .5-1. 0-0 6.0-20 LOW NC0078 10-55 4.5-6.5 0.-.5 0-0 6.0-20 LOW NC0078 55-65 - - - - -

National Cooperative Soil Survey