Established Series
Rev. LWF


The Capers series consists of very deep, very poorly drained, very slowly permeable soils in tidal marshes. They formed in silty and clayey marine and stream terraces. Slopes range from 0 to 2 percent. Near the type location the mean annual air temperature is 66 degrees F., and mean annual precipitation is 49 inches.

TAXONOMIC CLASS: Fine, mixed, active, nonacid, thermic Typic Sulfaquents

TYPICAL PEDON: Capers silty clay - idle. (Colors are for a wet soil unless otherwise stated.)

A--0 to 16 inches; very dark grayish brown (2.5Y 3/2) silty clay; massive; sticky; when squeezed in hand, soil flows between the fingers with some difficulty (n value 0.8); sulphide gas odor apparent; matted medium and fine, live and dead grass roots; few muscle shells on surface; neutral; gradual wavy boundary. (3 to 20 inches thick)

Cg1--16 to 46 inches; black (N 2/0) clay; massive; very sticky; when squeezed in hand, soil flows between fingers with difficulty and not leaving hand clean (n value 0.7); common fine grass roots; neutral; gradual wavy boundary.

Cg2--46 to 60 inches; very dark gray (N 3/0) clay, and dark gray (N 4/0); massive; very sticky; when squeezed in hand, soil flows between fingers with difficulty, most remaining in hand (n value less than 0.7); few fine roots; mildly alkaline. (Combined thickness of the Cg horizons is 40 to more than 57 inches)

TYPE LOCATION: Chatham County, Georgia; 0.1 mile northwest on Georgia Highway 307 from intersection with U. S. Highway 17; east on Silk Hope Road 560 feet; approximately 150 feet north of road. (Garden City, GA. (1980) USGS Quadrangle, lat. 32 degrees, 02 minutes, 29 seconds N., and long. 81 degrees, 12 minutes, 57 seconds W.)

RANGE IN CHARACTERISTICS: Reaction ranges from moderately acid to mildly alkaline in the A horizon, and from neutral to moderately alkaline in the Cg horizons. Pale yellow sulfur compounds are common on surfaces of peds after drying. The upper 20 inches of the pedon contains 0.75 to 2.0 percent sulfur as sulphides and less than three times as much carbonate as sulfur. Salt content of the upper 50 inches is more than 5000 ppm. Muck or peat surface horizons of 3 to 15 inches are present in some pedons.

The O horizon, where present, has hue of 5YR, 7.5YR, or 10YR, value of 3, and chroma of 1 or 2; or it is neutral and has value of 2 or 3. Organic matter content of 10 to 35 percent is common in all horizons of some pedons.

The A horizon has hue of 10YR, 2.5Y, or 5Y, value of 2 through 5, and chroma of 1 or 2; or it is neutral and has value of 2 through 4. It is loam, silty clay loam, silty clay, or clay.

The Cg1 horizon has hue of 10YR, 2.5Y, or 5Y, value of 3 through 5, and chroma of 1 or 2; or it has hue of 5GY or 5B, value of 4, and chroma of 1; or it is neutral and has value of 2 through 4. The Cg2 horizon has hue of 10YR, 2.5Y, or 5Y, value of 4 or 5, and chroma of 1 or 2; or hue of 5GY, 5BG, or 5B, value of 4 through 6, and chroma of 1; or it is neutral and has value of 3 through 5. It is clay of silty clay. Some pedons are silty clay loam, sandy clay, and sandy clay loam below about 40 inches. The average clay content of the 10- to 40-inch control section is 35 to 70 percent. Consistence is sticky or very sticky. Mottles in shades of gray, yellow, or brown range from none to common in all horizons. The n value ranges from less than 0.7 to 1.0 in more than half of the upper 20 inches of the pedon, and from less than 0.7 to more than 2.0 in layers below 20 inches.

COMPETING SERIES: Bohicket is the only series in the same family. Series in other families are the Allemands, Axis, Barbary, Barrada, Carlin, Chastain, Homosassa, Johnston, Okeelanta, Peckish, Pellicer, and Ponzer series. None of these soils have high sulfur content except Bohicket. Bohicket soils have n values more than 1.0 in the upper 20 inches of the pedon. Axis soils are fine-loamy. Allemands, Carlin, Okeelanta, and Ponzer soils have organic horizons that are more than 16 inches thick. Barbary and Barrada soils have less sulfur and less salt in the upper 50 inches of the solum than the Capers soils. Chastain and Johnston soils have soil structure, less salt and low n value. In addition, Johnston soils are less clayey. Homosassa, Peckish and Pellicer have mean annual temperature more than 72 degrees F.

GEOGRAPHIC SETTING: The Capers soils are on broad level tidal flats and along the lower reaches of larger streams flowing into the tidal flats. Slopes are mainly less than 2 percent. Elevation ranges from 2 to 5 feet above mean sea level. The climate is warm and humid. The mean annual air temperature is 60 to about 72 degrees F., and the mean annual precipitation is 45 to 55 inches.

GEOGRAPHICALLY ASSOCIATED SOILS: These include the competing Bohicket series of the same family and the Cape Fear, Dorovan, Ellabelle, Handsboro, Meggett, Newhan, Portsmouth, Rutlege, and Santee series. Cape Fear, Ellabelle, Meggett, and Portsmouth soils have argillic horizons. Dorovan soils have organic surface layers more than 51 inches thick. Handsboro soils have epipedon of sapric material. Rutlege and Newhan soils are sandy throughout. Santee soils have a mollic epipedon.

DRAINAGE AND PERMEABILITY: Very poorly drained and ponded; very slow runoff; very slow permeability. They are flooded with brackish or salty water at least twice monthly and in some places twice daily. The water table is +1 to 1 foot.

USE AND VEGETATION: These soils are used primarily as a natural habitat for wetland wildlife. A few scattered areas are used for range and pasture. The vegetation is limited to salt tolerant marshland plants with the principal species being black rush (Juncus roemerianus), smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora), big cordgrass (Spartina cynosuroides), and three square (Scirpus robustus).

DISTRIBUTION AND EXTENT: Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and possibly Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Virginia. The series is extensive.


SERIES ESTABLISHED: Berkeley County, South Carolina; 1974.

REMARKS: Diagnostic features recognized in this pedon are:

Sulfidic materials - the 0.75 to 2.0 percent sulfur as sulfides combined with the 0.7 to 2.0 n value in the upper 20 inches of the pedon.

Revised 2/93

SIR= GA0010

MLRA= 153A, 153B


SOI-5  Soil Name   Slope  Airtemp FrFr/Seas Precip  Elevation
GA0010 CAPERS      0-  2   60- 72  240-285  45- 55     2-   5 

SOI-5 FloodL FloodH Watertable Kind Months Bedrock Hardness GA0010 FREQ - APPARENT - 60-60

SOI-5 Depth Texture 3-Inch No-10 Clay% -CEC- GA0010 0-16 SIC C 0- 0 100-100 35-50 - GA0010 0-16 SICL L 0- 0 100-100 15-35 - GA0010 16-60 C SIC 0- 0 100-100 40-70 -

SOI-5 Depth -pH- O.M. Salin Permeab Shnk-Swll GA0010 0-16 6.6- 7.8 5.-25 16-32 0.06- 0.2 HIGH GA0010 0-16 6.6- 7.8 5.-25 16-32 0.6- 2.0 MODERATE GA0010 16-60 6.6- 8.4 - 16-32 0.0-0.06 HIGH

National Cooperative Soil Survey