LOCATION MENTO              KS
Established Series


The Mento series consists of deep, well drained, slowly permeable soils on uplands. They formed in loess over chalky limestone which is at depths of 40 to 72 inches. Slopes range from 0 to 8 percent. Mean annual temperature is 54 degrees F, and mean annual precipitation is 23 inches.

TAXONOMIC CLASS: Fine, smectitic, mesic Typic Argiustolls

TYPICAL PEDON: Mento silt loam - in a nearly level cultivated field. (Colors are for dry soil unless otherwise stated.)

Ap--0 to 9 inches; dark grayish brown (10YR 4/2) silt loam, very dark brown (10YR 2/2) moist; weak medium platy structure parting to weak fine granular; slightly hard, friable; common fine roots; neutral; abrupt smooth boundary. (5 to 10 inches thick)

Bt--9 to 14 inches; grayish brown (10YR 5/2) silty clay loam, very dark grayish brown (10YR 3/2) moist; moderate medium prismatic structure parting to moderate medium blocky; very hard, very firm; few fine roots; moderately alkaline; gradual smooth boundary.

Btk--14 to 23 inches; grayish brown (10YR 5/2) silty clay loam, dark grayish brown (10YR 4/2) moist; moderate medium blocky structure; hard, firm; few fine roots; many soft medium-sized carbonate accumulations; strong effervescence; moderately alkaline; gradual smooth boundary. (Combined thickness of the Bt horizon ranges from 8 to 20 inches.)

BCk--23 to 31 inches; pale brown (10YR 6/3) silty clay loam, brown (10YR 4/3) moist; weak medium subangular blocky structure; hard, firm; few very fine roots; few coarse root channels filled with darker colored soil material; soft carbonate accumulations common but fewer and smaller than horizon above; strong effervescence; moderately alkaline; gradual smooth boundary. (0 to 16 inches thick)

C1--31 to 41 inches; pale brown (10YR 6/3) silty clay loam, brown (10YR 5/3) moist; massive; hard, friable; violent effervescence; moderately alkaline; gradual wavy boundary. (0 to 20 inches thick)

2C2--41 to 67 inches; white (10YR 8/2) clay loam, grading to gravelly clay loam, light gray (10YR 7/2) moist; massive; porous; hard, friable; sand and gravel are mostly chalk or limestone; violent effervescence; moderately alkaline; abrupt smooth boundary. (0 to 28 inches thick)

2R--67 to 70 inches; chalk, level bedded, few joints.

TYPE LOCATION: Ellis County, Kansas; about 1/2 mile east and 1 1/2 miles south of Ellis; 200 feet east and 600 feet north of the southwest corner, sec. 16, T. 13 S., R. 20 W.

RANGE IN CHARACTERISTICS: The thickness of the solum ranges from 20 to 46 inches. Depth to free carbonates ranges from 10 to 20 inches. The thickness of the mollic epipedon ranges from 7 to 20 inches. Depth to chalky limestone ranges from 40 to 72 inches. The B and C horizons contain between 5 and 15 percent exchangeable sodium. In a few pedons the conductivity of the saturation extract ranges from 4 to 8 millimhos per centimeter below a depth of 40 inches.

The A horizon has hue of 10YR, value of 3 to 5 and 2 or 3 moist, and chroma of 2 or 3. It commonly is silt loam and less commonly silty clay loam. It is neutral or mildly alkaline. Some pedons have gray silt coating on surfaces of peds in the lower 1 to 3 inches of the A horizon.

The Bt horizon has hue of 10YR or 2.5Y, value of 4 to 6 and 3 to 5 moist, and chroma of 2 or 3. It is silty clay loam or silty clay with 35 to 45 percent clay. It is mildly alkaline or moderately alkaline.

The C horizon has hue of 10YR or 2.5Y, value of 5 to 7 and 4 to 6 moist, and chroma of 2 to 4. It is silt loam or silty clay loam.

The 2C horizon has hue of 10YR or 2.5Y, value of 6 to 8 and 5 to 7 moist, and chroma of 2 to 4. It is clay loam or gravelly clay loam. Sand and gravel material is mostly chalk or limestone fragments.

COMPETING SERIES: These are the Beadle, Carlson, Harney, Kirley, McClure, Peno, Raber, Reliance, and Spearville series in the same family and the Richfield and Wood River soils. All of these soils except Wood River soils lack concentrations of exchangeable sodium in the solum. In addition, the Beadle and Raber soils contain more sand and formed in glacial till; the Carlson and Harney soils lack an abrupt boundary between the A and Bt horizons; Reliance soils have a lower mean annual temperature; the Spearville soils contain more clay in the argillic horizon. Richfield soils are in a drier climate. Wood River soils have a natric horizon and are leached of free carbonates to greater depths.

GEOGRAPHIC SETTING: Mento soils are on uplands and have a slope gradient that ranges from 0 to 8 percent. These soils formed in loess over chalky limestone. Mean annual temperature ranges from 52 to 57 degrees F, and mean annual precipitation ranges from 20 to 25 inches. Thornthwaite annual P-E index ranges from 34 to 42.

GEOGRAPHICALLY ASSOCIATED SOILS: These are the Brownell, Harney, Heizer, and Wakeen soils. Brownell, Heizer, and Wakeen soils are underlain by limestone or chalk at depths less than 40 inches and are on positions below Mento soils. Harney soils are generally above Mento soils.

DRAINAGE AND PERMEABILITY: Well drained. Runoff is slow or medium. Permeability is slow.

USE AND VEGETATION: Most areas of Mento soils are cultivated. The principal crops are grain sorghum and winter wheat. Native vegetation is mostly mid and short grasses, Western wheatgrass, sideoats grama, blue grama, and buffalograss.

DISTRIBUTION AND EXTENT: North-central Kansas. It is of large extent.


SERIES ESTABLISHED: Ellis County, Kansas, 1970.


ADDITIONAL DATA: Laboratory data are available from the National Soil Survey Laboratory on Pedon S68Kans26-13. Laboratory Nos. 68L387 to 68L390 at the following site.

National Cooperative Soil Survey