Established Series
Rev. WDC, RP


The Cardiff series consists of deep, well drained soils formed in material weathered from hard quartzitic slate, phyllite, or other fine-grained rock. They are nearly level to steep soils on uplands. Typically these soils have channery silt loam A horizons, and very channery loam Bw horizons over very channery silt C horizons. Hard slate bedrock is below 40 inches.

TAXONOMIC CLASS: Loamy-skeletal, mixed, semiactive, mesic Typic Dystrudepts

TYPICAL PEDON: Cardiff channery silt loam - cropland (Colors are for moist soil.)

Ap-- 0 to 10 inches, dark grayish brown (10YR 4/2) channery silt loam; strong fine granular structure; friable; many roots; many pores; 30 percent slate fragments; slightly acid (limed); clear smooth boundary. (6 to 12 inches thick)

Bw1-- 10 to 16 inches; yellowish brown (10YR 5/4) channery silt loam; moderate medium subangular blocky structure; friable, sticky, slightly plastic; common roots; many pores; 35 percent slate fragments; moderately acid; clear wavy boundary. (1 to 8 inches thick)

Bw2-- 16 to 30 inches, yellowish brown (10YR 5/4) very channery loam; moderate medium subangular blocky structure; friable, sticky, plastic; few roots; many pores; 55 percent slate fragments, content increases with depth; strongly acid; gradual irregular boundary. (8 to 15 inches thick)

Cr-- 30 to 45 inches, light yellowish brown (10YR 6/4) very channery silt loam; over 90 percent soft to very hard, thin flat fragments of slate; strongly acid; gradual irregular boundary. (5 to 25 inches thick)

R-- 45 inches, light gray, hard, thinly fractured quartzitic slate.

TYPE LOCATION: Carroll County, Maryland; about 50 yards south of the Pennsylvania state line and 100 yards west of Babylon Road.

RANGE IN CHARACTERISTICS: Solum thickness ranges from 15 to 35 inches. Depth to bedrock ranges from about 40 to 60 inches. Rock fragments range from 20 to 70 percent in the solum, and average more than 75 percent in the C horizon and 90 percent in the Cr horizon. The fragments consist of gray to light gray slate or other fine-grained rock. Reaction (unlimed) is strongly acid to very strongly acid.

The A horizon has hue of 10YR to 5YR, value of 3 through 6, and chroma of 1 through 3, with the lowest value confined to the thin A horizon and the highest value to the E horizon in undisturbed pedons. The A horizon is channery silt loam or channery loam.

The Bw horizon has hue of 10YR to 5YR, value of 5 or 6, and chroma of 4 or 6. It is loam or silt loam in the fine earth fraction. The clay content ranges from about 12 to 25 percent.

The C horizon were present has hue of 10YR to 5Y, value of 6 or 7, and chroma of 4 or 6. It is channery or extremely channery analogues of loam, silt loam or silt.

COMPETING SERIES: These are the Bremo, Greenlee, Handshoe and Northcove series in the same family. Bremo soils have bedrock between 20 and 40 inches. Greenlee, Handshoe and Northcove soils formed in gravity transported material.

GEOGRAPHIC SETTING: Cardiff soils are on elevated ridges in the uplands of the northern Piedmont Plateau. Slopes range from 0 to 50 percent. The soils formed in residual material weathered from hard, light colored, quartzitic slate, phyllite or other fine-grained rock. The mean annual air temperature is about 55 degrees F., and the mean annual precipitation is about 40 inches.

GEOGRAPHICALLY ASSOCIATED SOILS: These are the Linganore, Manor, Mt. Airy, and Whiteford series. Linganore and Whiteford soils have a Bt horizon. Manor and Mt. Airy soils are of the same subgroup as Cardiff soils, but both have micaceous mineralogy. In addition the Manor soils have less than 35 percent coarse fragments in the particle-size control section.

DRAINAGE AND PERMEABILITY: Well drained and somewhat excessively drained. Overall permeability is moderate. Runoff ranges from slow to rapid depending on slope.

USE AND VEGETATION: Most areas are used for growing general crops and orchards, or for pasture. Steeper areas are commonly wooded. Native vegetation is mixed hardwoods dominated by oaks.

DISTRIBUTION AND EXTENT: Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. Estimated extent is 10,000 to 15,000 acres.


SERIES ESTABLISHED: Adams County, Pennsylvania, 1904.

REMARKS: Cardiff Series is updated to the 8th Edition of Soil Taxonomy for CEC class.

National Cooperative Soil Survey