Established Series


The Jesbel series consists of well drained (maximal) Chestnut soils which have caliche hardpans and are developed on undulating to gently sloping topography under annual grass-herb vegetation. The parent material consists of gravelly and cobbly old alluvium that had its source in metamorphosed sedimentary rocks, chiefly graphitic slates of the Mariposa formation. The Jesbel soils are characterized by dark grayish brown gravelly clay loam or gravelly clay A1 horizons and dark brown gravelly clay B horizons overlying strongly cemented caliche hardpans at moderate depths. The Jesbel soils occur in the same general area as the Daulton, Cometa, Whiterock, Whitney and similar old terraces and lower foothills. They somewhat resemble the Buchenau soils from similar parent materials. The Buchenau soils are calcareous throughout, have weakly developed textural and structural B horizons, and the caliche hardpan horizons are more calcareous than those of the Jesbel soils. The Daulton and Whiterock soils consist of shallow Lithosols developing directly from the Mariposa formation bedrock and the Cometa and Whitney are older soils derived from granitic alluvium in high terraces.

TAXONOMIC CLASS: Fine, smectitic, thermic Petrocalcic Palexeralfs

SOIL PROFILE: Jesbel gravelly clay loam (undisturbed site in a range pasture)

A1--0 to 5 inches; Dark grayish brown (10YR 4/2) gravelly clay loam, very dark grayish brown (10YR 3/2) moist; weak fine granular structure; hard, firm; numerous fine roots; moderately porous, moderately low in organic matter; neutral (pH 7.2); clear, smooth boundary. 3 to 6 inches thick.

A3--5 to 14 inches; Similar to above but much lower in organic matter, nearly massive dry, very weak fine granular structure moist; roots less numerous, many very fine pores; neutral (pH 6.8); abrupt, smooth lower boundary. 6 to 10 inches thick,

B2--14 to 24 inches; Dark brown (7.5YR 4/4) gravelly light clay, dark brown (7.5YR 3/4) moist; strong medium blocky structure; very hard, very firm; moderate continuous clay films, few fine roots, few very fine pores; neutral (pH 7.1); abrupt, slightly wavy boundary. 8 to 14 inches thick.

Ccam--24 to 33 inches; White (10YR 8/2) dry and light gray (10YR 7/2) moist, gravelly strongly lime-cemented caliche hardpan; abrupt slightly wavy boundary; 6 to 15 inches thick.

C2--33 to 42 inches; Brown (10YR 5/3) gravelly sandy loam, dark brown (10YR 4/3) moist; massive; slightly hard, very friable; mildly alkaline (pH 7.7); moderately calcareous; gravel content increases with depth.

RANGE IN CHARACTERISTICS: The soils always contain gravel but in some areas not enough is found in the surface horizon to warrant mapping of a gravelly type. Usually the hardpan is encountered between 18 and 30 inches.

TOPOGRAPHY: Undulating to gently sloping, mostly 0 to 3 percent slopes, but locally up to 8 percent.

DRAINAGE AND PERMEABILITY: General drainage is good. Surface runoff is slow to medium; permeability is very slow, being restricted by both the claypan and hardpan.

VEGETATION: Annual grasses and herbs.

USE: Range and dry farmed grain.

DISTRIBUTION: On short local old alluvial fan terraces adjacent to Mariposa formation in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.


SERIES ESTABLISHED: Madera County, California, 1959. (Source of name is a Southern Pacific Railway siding in Madera County.)

TYPE LOCATION: Madera County, California; SW 1/4 SW 1/4 Sec. 16, T.9S., R.18E.

OSED scanned by SSQA. Last revised by state on 1/6/59.

National Cooperative Soil Survey