LOCATION BURTON NC+GA TN VA
The Burton series consists of moderately deep, well drained soils on ridges and side slopes at high elevations in the Southern Blue Ridge mountains, MLRA 130B. They formed in residuum that is affected in the upper part by soil creep, and weathered from felsic to mafic igneous and high-grade metamorphic rocks. Near the type location, mean annual air temperature is about 40 degrees F., and mean annual precipitation is 80 inches. Slope ranges from 2 to 95 percent.
TAXONOMIC CLASS: Fine-loamy, isotic, frigid Typic Humudepts
TYPICAL PEDON: Burton sandy clay loam on a 10 percent ridge top at an elevation of 5,673 feet--heath bald vegetation. (Colors are for moist soil unless otherwise stated.)
Oe--0 to 2 inches; mat of decomposing leaves and twigs laced with many fine to coarse live roots.
A1--2 to 9 inches; very dark brown (10YR 2/2) sandy clay loam; weak, fine granular structure; very friable; many very fine to coarse roots; 8 percent gravel and cobbles, and 3 percent stones by volume; common very fine and fine flakes of mica; very strongly acid; clear smooth boundary.
A2--9 to 17 inches; very dark grayish brown (10YR 3/2) fine sandy loam; weak medium and coarse subangular blocky structure; very friable; common very fine to coarse roots; 10 percent gravel and cobbles by volume; common very fine and fine flakes of mica; very strongly acid; clear smooth boundary. (Combined thickness of the A horizon is 10 to 20 inches.)
Bw--17 to 26 inches; dark yellowish brown (10YR 4/6) sandy loam; weak medium and coarse subangular blocky structure; very friable; few very fine and fine roots; 11 percent gravel and cobbles; common very fine and fine flakes of mica; very strongly acid; clear smooth boundary. (6 to 14 inches)
Cr--26 to 29 inches; weathered, partially consolidated bedrock that can be dug with difficulty with hand tools, few fine and medium roots in cracks that are spaced more than 4 inches apart; abrupt smooth boundary. (0 to 6 inches)
R--29 inches; hard, high-grade metagraywacke and kyanite garnet mica schist bedrock.
TYPE LOCATION: Buncombe County, North Carolina; 18 miles north east of Asheville on Blue Ridge Parkway, 0.25 miles west of Craggey Garden overlook to shelter, 600' south of shelter along trail: USGS Craggey Pinnacle topographic quadrangle; lat. 35 degrees 41 minutes 47 seconds N. and long. 82 degrees 23 minutes 00 seconds W., NAD 27.
RANGE IN CHARACTERISTICS: Depth to lithic contact ranges from 20 to 40 inches. Content of rock fragments range from 0 to 35 percent by volume in the A and B horizons and up to 50 percent by volume in the C horizon. Reaction ranges from extremely acid to moderately acid throughout. Flakes of mica are few or common throughout.
The A horizon has hue of 5YR to 2.5Y, value of 2 or 3, and chroma of 1 to 3, or hue of N and value of 2 or 3. The A horizon is loam, fine sandy loam, sandy loam, or sandy clay loam in the fine-earth fraction.
The Bw horizon has hue of 7.5YR to 2.5Y, value of 3 to 6, and chroma of 3 to 8. It is loam, fine sandy loam, sandy loam, or sandy clay loam in the fine-earth fraction. Colors with value and chroma of 3 derived from parent material rather than a high organic matter content.
The BC horizon, where present, is similar in color and texture to the Bw horizon.
The C horizon, where present, is saprolite that is commonly fine sandy loam, sandy loam, loam, loamy sand, or loamy fine sand in the fine-earth fraction. It is multicolored or similar in color to the Bw and BC horizons.
The Cr horizon, where present, is weathered felsic to mafic, igneous or high grade metamorphic bedrock. It is partially consolidated but can be dug with difficulty with hand tools. Cementation is weak or moderate. Roots are commonly present and are in cracks and seams spaced more than 4 inches apart.
The R horizon is hard felsic to mafic, igneous or high-grade metamorphic bedrock. Horizontal spacing of cracks is 4 inches or more. Cementation is commonly indurated.
COMPETING SERIES: These are the
Wayah series. Breakneck and Burton soils have a lithic contact at depths of 20 to 40 inches. Cataloochee soils have a paralithic contact at depths of 20 to 40 inches. Guyot soils have a paralithic contact at depths of 40 to 60 inches. Breakneck, Cataloochee, Guyot, and Oconaluftee soils formed in residuum weathered from low-grade metasedimentary rocks. Tanasee soils formed in colluvium on benches, fans, and toeslopes. Wayah soils are very deep.
GEOGRAPHIC SETTING: Burton soils are on ridges and side slopes. Elevation commonly ranges from about 4800 to 6600 feet. On north and east aspects this soil may occur at somewhat lower elevations. Slopes range from 2 to 95 percent. Burton soils formed in residuum that is affected in the upper part by soil creep, and weathered from felsic to mafic, high-grade metamorphic rocks such as granite, gneiss, mica gneiss, hornblende gneiss, and high-grade metagraywacke, . Mean annual precipitation ranges from is about 60 to 110 inches. Mean annual air temperature ranges from 35 to 45 degrees F. Mean annual soil temperature is approximately 46 degrees F. near the type location. The frost-free season ranges from 90 to 130 days, and length of the growing season is about three months. Moist atmospheric conditions in the form of fog and cloud cover are prevalent throughout the year in these high mountain areas.
GEOGRAPHICALLY ASSOCIATED SOILS: In addition to the competing
Wayah series, these are the
Longhope series. Balsam soils are in a loamy-skeletal particle-size class. Clingman and Craggey soils have hard bedrock within a depth of 20 inches. Longhope soils are very poorly drained and have organic horizons 16 to 30 inches thick overlying mineral soil material. Balsam soils formed in colluvium on toe slopes, benches, and fans in coves. Clingman and Craggey soils formed in residuum and are in similar landscape positions with Burton soils. Longhope soils occur in broad drainageways or fens (locally referred to as "bogs").
DRAINAGE AND PERMEABILITY: Well drained. Runoff class is medium on strongly sloping or moderately steep slopes, and high on steeper slopes. Runoff is much lower where forest litter has little or no disturbance. Permeability is moderate.
USE AND VEGETATION: Most of the acreage is in State or Federal ownership and is used for watershed protection, recreation, and wildlife habitat. In areas higher than about 5400 feet, red spruce and fraser fir are the dominant trees. At the lower elevations, northern red oak, chestnut oak, American beech, yellow birch, black cherry, sugar maple, eastern hemlock, and yellow buckeye are common trees. In many areas, the trees are stunted due to wind and ice damage and a "windswept" phase is recognized. Common understory plants are serviceberry, striped maple, American chestnut sprouts, silverbell, pin cherry, rhododendron, flame azalea, blueberry, hay-scented fern, woodfern, New York fern, blue grass, and sedges. Acreage covered by heath balds is vegetated with rhododendron, mountain laurel, blueberry, flame azalea, hawthorn, and mountain ash. A small acreage is used for native pasture.
DISTRIBUTION AND EXTENT: High elevations in the Southern Blue Ridge mountains, MLRA 130B of North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and possibly Virginia. This series is moderately extensive.
MLRA SOIL SURVEY REGIONAL OFFICE (MO) RESPONSIBLE: Morgantown, West Virginia.
SERIES ESTABLISHED: Buncombe County, North Carolina; 1920.
REMARKS: This series was formerly classified as an acid Brown Forest soil. Burton series was initially placed in a mesic family. Soil temperature data has been collected in North Carolina in several counties and supports the frigid family.
The 1/97 revision placed Burton soils in a fine-loamy particle-size class. This series was formerly placed in a coarse-loamy particle-size class. Laboratory PSA (pipette method) and corresponding field texture estimates (feel method) indicate control section clay contents of generally 12 to 24 percent, with most pedons marginally coarse-loamy. Fine-loamy particle-size class placement is based on the presence of amorphous (non-crystalline) clay-size material associated with the relatively high organic matter content found in these soils. Although field estimates, laboratory measurements, and calculated values may vary, clay content in the particle-size control section is generally less than 25 percent. Although Burton soils may exhibit some of the characteristics of andic soil properties, they lack the volcanic glass found in soils of similar taxa in the Western United States.
The 3/03 revision reflects the movement of the typical pedon from Transylvania County, NC to Buncombe County, NC.
ADDITIONAL DATA: Characterization data are available from the NSSC Soil Survey Laboratory, Lincoln, NE for this pedon: S91NC-021-008.
Diagnostic horizons and features recognized in this pedon are:
Umbric epipedon - the zone from the mineral soil surface to a depth of 17 inches (A1 and A2 horizons)
Cambic horizon - the zone between 17 and 26 inches (Bw horizon)
Paralithic contact - weathered bedrock contact at 26 inches (upper boundary of Cr horizon).
Lithic contact - the occurrence of hard bedrock at a depth of 29 inches (R horizon)
Isotic mineralogy class - In more than one-half of the control section, a 1500 kPa water to clay ratio of 0.6 or more and a pH in NaF solution of more than 8.4.
ADDITIONAL DATA: Characterization data is available from the National Soil Survey Laboratory, Lincoln, NE for the following pedons: S88NC-199-017, S91NC-021-007, and S91NC-021-008.
MLRA: 130B SIR(S): NC0093, NC0114 (STONY)
Revised: 10/92-HJB,DLN,AG; 1/97-DHK, 12/97-DHK, 3/03-MHS, MKC
02/11-BPS: Taxonomic Classification -- 11th Keys, update competing and associated series, MLRA clarification
National Cooperative Soil Survey