LOCATION ELBA               OH
Established Series


The Elba series consists of deep, well drained, slowly permeable soils that formed in residuum from limestone and calcareous shale and siltstone. These soils are on uplands and have slopes ranging from 3 to 70 percent. Mean annual precipitation is about 40 inches, and mean annual air temperature is about 52 degrees F.

TAXONOMIC CLASS: Fine, mixed, active, mesic Typic Hapludalfs

TYPICAL PEDON: Elba silty clay loam on a 6 percent convex east-facing slope in an idle field, formerly cutlivated. (Colors are for moist soil unless otherwise stated.)

Ap--0 to 6 inches; brown (10YR 4/3) silty clay loam, pale brown (10YR 6/3) dry; weak medium subangular blocky structure parting to weak medium granular; friable; many roots; slightly acid; abrupt wavy boundary. (5 to 10 inches thick)

Bt1--6 to 9 inches; yellowish brown (10YR 5/4) silty clay loam; strong fine angular blocky structure; friable; common roots; common faint dark yellowish brown (10YR 4/4) clay films on faces of peds; slightly acid; clear smooth boundary.

Bt2--9 to 14 inches; yellowish brown (10YR 5/4) silty clay; strong fine and medium angular blocky structure; firm; common roots; many faint dark yellowish brown (10YR 4/4) clay films on faces of peds; neutral; clear smooth boundary.

Bt3--14 to 22 inches; brown (7.5YR 5/4) clay; moderate fine angular blocky structure; firm; few roots; many distinct dark yellowish brown (10YR 4/4) clay films on faces of peds; about 5 percent brownish yellow (10YR 6/6) weathered remnants of limestone; slight effervescence, slightly alkaline; clear wavy boundary.

Bt4--22 to 30 inches; brown (7.5YR 5/4) channery silty clay; moderate fine and medium subangular blocky structure; friable; few roots; many distinct dark yellowish brown (10YR 4/4) clay films on faces of peds; about 20 percent weathered remnants of limestone; many medium and coarse brownish yellow (10YR 6/6) zones of light silty clay loam calcareous material; slight effervescence, moderately alkaline; clear smooth boundary. (Combined thickness of the Bt horizons is 14 to 38 inches.)

BC--30 to 42 inches; light yellowish brown (2.5Y 6/4) silty clay loam; moderate fine and medium subangular blocky structure; friable; few roots; few distinct dark yellowish brown (10YR 4/4) clay films on faces of peds; about 5 percent soft calcareous shale fragments; slight effervescence, moderately alkaline; abrupt wavy boundary. (5 to 20 inches thick)

C1--42 to 48 inches; dark gray (10YR 4/1) channery silty clay loam; weak very fine subangular blocky structure; firm; dark yellowish brown (10YR 4/4) zones comprise about 5 percent of volume; 30 percent light gray (10YR 7/2) soft calcareous siltstone or limestone fragments and 10 percent brownish yellow (10YR 6/6) soft weathered remnants of limestone; strong effervescence, moderately alkaline; clear wavy boundary.

C2--48 to 54 inches; dark gray (5Y 4/1) very channery silty clay loam, light olive gray (5Y 6/2) crushed; few fine distinct brownish yellow (10YR 6/6) mottles; massive; firm; thin very patchy yellowish brown (10YR 5/4) coatings on fragments; about 50 percent gray (5Y 6/1) limestone fragments; strong effervescence, moderately alkaline.

R--54 inches; hard limestone bedrock.

TYPE LOCATION: Belmont County, Ohio; about 1/2 mile east of Hendrysburg; 1400 feet east and 2450 feet north of the southwest corner of sec. 8, Kirkwood Township, T. 9 N, R. 6 W.

RANGE IN CHARACTERISTICS: Solum thickness ranges from 24 to 48 inches. Depth to carbonates ranges from 10 to 30 inches. The depth to a lithic or paralithic contact is 40 to 80 inches. Rock fragments are dominantly thin, flat fragments of limestone, nonacid siltstone and shale, and rounded limestone cobbles. Rock fragment content is 0 to 15 percent by volume in the A horizon, 0 to 35 percent in the Bt horizon, and 5 to 60 percent in the BC and C horizons. Individual subhorizons in the Bt horizon contain up to 60 percent rock fragments.

The Ap horizon has hue of 10YR or 7.5YR, value of 4 or 5 (6 or 7 dry), and chroma of 2 or 3. Some pedons have thin A horizons with value of 2 or 3 and chroma of 1 to 3. E horizons are in some pedons. The A or Ap horizon is silty clay loam or silt loam except for some eroded pedons that range to silty clay or clay. It commonly is neutral to medium acid but ranges to mildly alkaline in pedons that are eroded.

The BE or BA horizons are in some pedons. The Bt horizon has hue of 7.5YR, 10YR, or 2.5Y; value of 4 or 5; and chroma of 3 to 6. Some pedons are mottled in the lower part, mainly due to color of parent rock. The Bt horizon is dominantly silty clay or clay or their shaly or channery analogues but subhorizons of silty clay loam or very channery analogues of those textures are permitted. It is medium acid to mildly alkaline in the upper part and neutral to moderately alkaline in the lower part. Some pedons contain free carbonates in the lower part.

The BC and C horizons have hue of 10YR, 7.5Y, 2.5Y, or 5Y; value of 4 to 6; chroma of 1 to 6; and are mottled in some pedons. They are silty clay loam, silty clay, clay, or their channery or very channery analogues. It is mildly alkaline or moderately alkaline and contains free carbonates. Bedrock is hard limestone, calcareous siltstone or shale.

COMPETING SERIES: These are the Beasley, Bland, Bledsoe, Bonnell, Brashear, Bratton, Briggsville, Brookside, Bucklick, Caneyville, Chrome, Derinda, Donahue, Eden, Edenton, Eldean, Estate, Faywood, Fredonia, Hagerstown, Heitt, Kewaunee, Lamoille, Losantville, Lowell, Markland, Medary, Miamian, Milton, Newnata, Ozaukee, Shrouts, Upshur, Vandalia, Vincent, Woodsfield, and Wynn series in the same family and the Brooke series. Beasley soils have mottles of low chroma in the lower part of the solum. Bland, Caneyville, Chrome, Derinda, Donahue, Eden, Edenton, Faywood, Fredonia, Milton, Shrouts, and Wynn soils have lithic or paralithic contacts within 40 inches. Bledsoe soils formed in colluvial material from soils formed in residuum from limestone, shale, siltstone, and sandstone. Bonnell soils formed in loess and till. Brashear, Brookside, Bucklick, Estate, Heitt, Lowell, Medary, and Newnata soils lack carbonates within depths of 10 to 30 inches. Bratton, Hagerstown, Upshur, Vandalia, Vincent, and Woodsfield soils have 5YR or redder hues in all or part of their B horizons. Briggsville and Markland soils lack coarse fragments. Eldean soils have stratified sand and gravel in the lower part of the control section. Kewaunee, Losantville, Miamian, and Ozaukee soils typically contain less coarse fragments in their lower sola and have formed in glacial till. The Brooke soils have a lithic contact at depth of 20 to 40 inches and are in mollic subgroup.

GEOGRAPHIC SETTING: Elba soils are on ridgetops and side slopes on uplands. The slope range is 3 to 70 percent. The soils have formed in residuum from limestone and gray calcareous shale and siltstone. Mean annual precipitation ranges from 36 to 44 inches, and mean annual temperature ranges from 49 to 55 degrees F.

GEOGRAPHICALLY ASSOCIATED SOILS: These are the competing Brooke, Brookside, Lowell, and Upshur soils and the Belpre, Dekalb, Gilpin, and Westmore soils. Brooke and Lowell soils are in similar positions as Elba soils. Brookside soils are on foot slopes. Upshur and Belpre soils are on ridgetops, side slopes, and benches. Belpre soils have redder hue. Dekalb and Gilpin soils are on shoulders and back slopes and have low base saturation, lack carbonates, and are loamy. Westmore soils typically are on ridgetops and upper side slopes and are fine-silty.

DRAINAGE AND PERMEABILITY: Well drained. Runoff is moderate to very rapid depending upon slope. Permeability is slow.

USE AND VEGETATION: Most areas are used for pasture, hay, and grain. Some areas are in woodland. Some formerly cultivated areas are reverting to woodland and now have vegetation of briars and brushy woodland. Original vegetation was hardwood forest. Black walnut is prominent in woodland on the Elba soils.

DISTRIBUTION AND EXTENT: Southeastern Ohio. The series is of moderate extent.


SERIES ESTABLISHED: Washington County, Ohio, 1973.

REMARKS: The Elba soils were formerly classified in the Brooke series in southeastern Ohio.

The 01/2006 revision updates this soil to the 9th Edition of the Keys to Soil Taxonomy (2003). The CEC activity class placement is based on NASIS data elements for Belmont and Washington Counties, Ohio, and on associated soils, but not on laboratory data. Class placement may be revised in the future when laboratory data are reviewed or become available.

Competing series, pedon description (including horizon nomenclature and/or descriptive terms), and other sections on the OSD were not revised.

Diagnostic horizons and features recognized in this pedon are:
Ochric epipedon - 0 to 6 inches (Ap)
Argillic horizon - 6 to 30 inches (Bt1, Bt2, Bt3, Bt4).

Previous revision dates: 02/86-TNR, DRM

National Cooperative Soil Survey