Established Series


The Lowville series consists of deep, well drained soils on upland till landscapes where the till is mantled with relatively thin silty aeolian materials. They are nearly level to moderately steep, moderately permeable soils. Lowville soils typically have dark brown silt loam A horizons, brown silt loam B horizons and dark grayish brown, brown and dark brown gravelly fine sandy loam and fine sandy loam IIC horizons.

TAXONOMIC CLASS: Coarse-loamy, mixed, active, mesic Dystric Eutrudepts

TYPICAL PEDON: Lowville silt loam - reforested.
(Colors are for moist soil unless otherwise noted.)

Oi--0 to 2 inches; partially decomposed leaf litter.

Ap--2 to 8 inches; dark brown (10YR 3/3) silt loam; brown (10YR 4/3) dry; weak fine and very fine granular structure; friable; many very fine, fine and few coarse roots; 3 percent coarse fragments; very strong acid; clear smooth boundary. (6 to 9 inches thick)

Bw--8 to 26 inches; brown (7.5YR 4/4) silt loam; yellowish brown (10YR 5/6) dry; weak subangular blocky parting to weak fine and very fine granular structure; friable; common fine and few medium roots; few fine vertical tubular pores; 5 percent coarse fragments; very strongly acid; clear wavy boundary. (10 to 27 inches thick)

2C1--26 to 62 inches; dark grayish brown (10YR 4/2) and brown (10YR 4/3); gravelly fine sandy loam; few, fine, faint dark yellowish brown (10YR 4/4) mottles along surfaces of plates; weak thin and medium platy structure; friable; few fine medium roots; few fine discontinuous vertical tubular pores; 21 percent coarse fragments; 3 percent greater than 3 inches; strongly acid; gradual wavy boundary. (10 to 40 inches thick)

2C2--62 to 82 inches; dark brown (10YR 3/3) fine sandy loam; few, fine, faint brown (10YR 4/3) and dark yellowish brown (10YR 4/4) mottles along surfaces of plates; moderate thin and
medium platy structure; firm; few fine roots; few fine and medium vertical tubular pores; 13 percent coarse fragments, 3 percent greater than 3 inches; medium acid increasing to mildly alkaline with depth; calcareous at 75 inches.

TYPE LOCATION: Jefferson County, New York; Town of Champion, 0.9 mile northwest of Champion Hill Road, 100 feet south of Lamb Road.

RANGE IN CHARACTERISTICS: Thickness of the solum ranges from 18 to 36 inches and generally corresponds to the thickness of the silty mantle; however, some pedons have IIB horizons where the silty mantle is minimal. Rock fragments range from 0 to 10 percent in the solum and 5 to 35 percent in the IIB or IIC including up to 5 percent greater than 3 inches in diameter. Reaction ranges from very strongly acid to medium acid in the solum, strongly acid to mildly alkaline in the upper part of the IIC and medium acid to moderately alkaline in the lower part of the IIC with free carbonates occurring within 80 inches.

The A horizon has hue of 10YR or 2.5Y, value of 3 or 4 and chroma of 2 or 3. Texture is very fine sandy loam or silt loam with a high component of silt and very fine sand. Structure is weak or moderate granular. Consistence is friable or very friable.

The Bw horizon has hue of 7.5YR through 2.5Y, value of 4 or 5 and chroma of 3 through 6. Texture is very fine sandy loam or silt loam. Structure is weak or very weak, fine or medium subangular block or granular blocky or granular blocky or granular. Consistence is friable or very friable.

The 2C or 2B horizon has hue of 10YR or 2.5Y, value of 3 through 5 and chroma of 2 or 3 with value of 3 occurring only below depths of 40 inches. The IIC horizon may be faintly mottled. Texture of the fine earth fraction is fine sandy loam or loam. Structure is weak or moderate, thin or medium platy or it is massive. IIB horizons have subangular blocky structure. Consistence is firm or friable with firmer consistence in the lower part.

COMPETING SERIES: There are the Herkimer, Pittsfield, Stockbridge and Urne series in the same family and Dover, Grenville and Nellis soils in related families. Herkimer soils, developed in outwash materials, have stratified C horizons. Pittsfield soils are sandier throughout the solum and Stockbridge soils lack the silty mantle with the corresponding lithologic discontinuity. Urne soils have a paralithic contact at depths of 20 to 40 inches.

Dover, Grenville and Nellis soils have free carbonates within depths of 40 inches.

GEOGRAPHIC SETTING: Lowville soils occupy nearly level to moderately steep landforms of glacial till plains that are mantled with silty aeolian deposits. Slopes range from 0 to 25 percent. The underlying till is dominated with sandstone and granitic rocks with a variable component of limestone. Mean annual air temperature ranges from 44 to 48 degrees F., precipitation from 30 to 45 inches and mean growing season from 120 to 160 days.

GEOGRAPHICALLY ASSOCIATED SOILS: These are the competing Grenville and Nellis soils and the Amenia, Bombay, Galway, Hogansburg, Madrid, Massena and Sun soils. Amenia and Hogansburg soils have carbonates within 40 inches and are moderately well drained with low chroma mottles within 24 inches. Bombay and Madrid soils have argillic horizon and, in addition, Bombay soils have low chroma mottles in the upper part of the argillic horizon. Galway soils have bedrock at depths of 20 to 40 inches and Massena and Sun soils are somewhat poorly drained and are poorly drained or very poorly drained. All listed soils lack the silty surficial mantle.

DRAINAGE AND PERMEABILITY: Well drained. Surface runoff is medium to rapid. Permeability is moderate above 40 inches and slow to moderate below 40 inches.

USE AND VEGETATION: Cleared areas are used to grow corn, small grains, hay and pasture. Native vegetation is sugar maple, American beech, and associated hardwoods.

DISTRIBUTION AND EXTENT: Mohawk, Black River, St. Lawrence and Champlain Valleys of New York. The soil is inextensive.


SERIES ESTABLISHED: Jefferson County, New York, 1983.

Remarks: The name was used on a soil association map of Jefferson County, New York in 1952 with approval from the Principal Correlator's office; however, official correlation of the series has been in doubt. A minor portion of the original Lowville series has base saturation greater than 60 percent within 30 inches or free carbonates within 40 inches.

More recently the soils have been checked and found to have free carbonates within 80 inches with low (less than 60 percent) base saturation within 30 inches. Based on these findings, this draft changes the classification from coarse-loamy, mixed, mesic Typic Dystrochrepts to coarse-loamy, mixed, mesic Dystric Eutrochrepts. Further study is needed to determine if the presence of free carbonates within 80 inches is sufficient justification for classifying a soil as a Eutrochrept.

National Cooperative Soil Survey