Established Series


The Currituck series consists of organic soils in the lower Coastal Plain. They formed in well decomposed organic materials over sandy mineral horizons. These soils are on narrow to broad, nearly level marshes that are flooded with fresh water. The water table in these soils fluctuates with the tides. Slope is less than 1 percent. Near the type location, mean annual temperature is 60 degrees F., and mean annual precipitation is 47 inches.

TAXONOMIC CLASS: Sandy or sandy-skeletal, mixed, euic, thermic Terric Haplosaprists

TYPICAL PEDON: Currituck mucky peat. (Colors are for moist soil unless otherwise stated. When described, the soil was saturated below 24 inches.)

Oe--0 to 14 inches; very dark grayish brown (10YR 3/2) broken face and rubbed mucky peat; about 80 percent fibers unrubbed, 36 percent fibers rubbed; massive; friable; many fine to coarse roots mainly from black needlerush; herbaceous material; mineral content about 55 percent; very strongly acid (pH 4.9 in .01 M calcium chloride); gradual wavy boundary. (6 to 18 inches thick)

Oa--14 to 28 inches; very dark grayish brown (2.5Y 3/2) broken face and rubbed muck; about 36 percent fibers unrubbed, 4 percent fibers rubbed; massive; very friable; common medium and coarse roots, mainly from black needlerush; herbaceous material; mineral content about 60 percent; extremely acid (pH 4.2 in .01 M calcium chloride); clear wavy boundary. (10 to 30 inches thick)

Cg--28 to 60 inches; greenish gray (5GY 5/1) sand; single grained; loose; common medium flakes of mica; common fine opaques; ultra acid (pH 3.1 in 1:1 water).

TYPE LOCATION: Currituck County, North Carolina; 4.5 miles south of Corolla; 1.1 mile northwest of Currituck Shoot Club Hunting Lodge and 0.8 mile west of Atlantic Ocean; 450 feet west of woods and 50 feet north of hunting path in marsh.

RANGE IN CHARACTERISTICS: Range in thickness of the organic material is typically 16 to 38 inches, with a maximum to 51 inches. Reaction ranges from very strongly acid to moderately acid (in .01 M calcium chloride) in the upper organic horizons and ultra acid through moderately acid (in .01 M calcium chloride) in the mineral and lower organic horizons. Exchangeable sodium and magnesium is less than 5 parts per thousand and sulfur content is less than 0.01 percent throughout the control section. Organic material is mainly from herbaceous plants.

The surface tier is either hemic or sapric, depending on history of vegetative succession. Mineral content ranges from 40 to 65 percent. The surface tier is in hues of 7.5YR, 10YR and 2.5Y, value of 2 to 4, and chroma of 1 to 3.

The subsurface tier, and bottom tier, where present, is sapric material; however, thin hemic layers occur in the subsurface tier of some pedons. The subsurface and bottom tiers, where present, are similar in color to the surface tier and in addition range to include dark olive gray (5Y 3/2), greenish gray (5GY 5/1), and dark greenish gray (5GY 4/1). Mineral content ranges from 40 to 65 percent.

The A horizon, where present, has hue of 10YR to 5Y, value of 2 to 3, and chroma of 1 or 2. It is sand, fine sand, loamy sand or their mucky analogue.

The Cg horizons are in hues of 10YR to 5Y, value of 4 to 6, chroma of 1 to 2, greenish gray (5GY 6/1, 5/1; 5G 5/1), or dark greenish gray (5GY 4/1; 5G 4/1) sand or loamy sand. Flakes of mica and opaques range from few to common. A few shell fragments and gravels are in some pedons.

COMPETING SERIES: There are no other series in this family. Those in closely related families are the Allemands, Handsboro, Hobonny, Istokpoga, Lafitte, Mattamuskeet, Maurepas, Ocoee, and Pamlico series. Allemands soils have clayey sediments underlying organic layers. Handsboro soils have subhorizons containing more than .075 percent sulfur. Hobonny, Istokpoga, Lafitte, and Maurepas soils have organic materials greater than 51 inches thick. In addition, Istokpoga soils have hyperthermic temperature regimes and are dominated by hemic materials. Lafitte soils are in saline marshes and have a SAR of more than 13 or ESP of more than 15 in more than half of the subsurface tier. Mattamuskeet and Pamlico soils are formed woody hydrophytic plants and have dysic pH ranges. Ocoee soils are hyperthermic and they are siliceous.

GEOGRAPHIC SETTING: Currituck soils are in large fresh water marshes that are associated with a marine environment. Elevations are below 3 feet. They are flooded with fresh water and are bordered on the seaward side by soils that are flooded with saline water. The soils are formed in herbaceous plant remains and sandy marine deposits. The mean annual precipitation ranges from 42 to 52 inches and the mean annual air temperature ranges from 58 to 70 degrees F.

GEOGRAPHICALLY ASSOCIATED SOILS: In addition to the competing Hobonny series, these are the Carteret, Corolla, Duckston, and Newhan series. All of these are mineral soils. Carteret soils are flooded daily by salt water. Corolla, Duckston, and Newhan soils are not flooded daily.

DRAINAGE AND PERMEABILITY: Very poorly drained; moderate to moderately rapid permeability; they are saturated to the surface except at low tide.

USE AND VEGETATION: Currituck soils are used mainly for waterfowl and certain fur bearing animal habitats. Native vegetation is dominantly needlegrass rush (Juncus roemerianus) along with some big cordgrass (Spartina cynosuroides), eastern baccharis (Baccharis halimifolia), waxmyrtle, willow, and cattail.

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


SERIES ESTABLISHED: Currituck County, North Carolina; 1980.

REMARKS: This series is mapped in areas previously mapped as fresh water tidal marsh. Values for sulfur, fiber content and pH are based on laboratory data from N. C. State University, Soil Science Department.

Diagnostic horizons and features recognized in this pedon are:

Histic Epipedon - the zone from the surface to a depth of 14 inches. (The Oe horizon)

Histic materials (Terric) - from a depth of 0 to 28 inches (The Oe and Oa horizons)

Aquic moisture regime - chromas of 2 or less throughout the soils which indicate saturation.

MLRA's: 153A, 153B


SOI-5  Soil Name   Slope  Airtemp FrFr/Seas Precip  Elevation
NC0116 CURRITUCK   0-  1   58- 70  190-240  42- 52     0-   3 

SOI-5 FloodL FloodH Watertable Kind Months Bedrock Hardness NC0116 FREQ 0-1.0 APPARENT JAN-DEC 60-60

SOI-5 Depth Texture 3-Inch No-10 Clay% -CEC- NC0116 0-14 MUCK MPT 0- 0 - 0- 0 20- 95 NC0116 14-28 MUCK 0- 0 - 0- 0 20- 95 NC0116 28-60 LS S 0- 0 90-100 3-10 1- 10

SOI-5 Depth -pH- O.M. Salin Permeab Shnk-Swll NC0116 0-14 4.5- 5.5 20-95 0- 2 0.6- 6.0 LOW NC0116 14-28 2.0- 5.5 20-95 2- 4 0.6- 6.0 LOW NC0116 28-60 2.0- 5.5 .5-8. 2- 4 6.0- 20 LOW

National Cooperative Soil Survey