LOCATION NASSAU                  NY MA NJ VT

Established Series
Rev. DCP


The Nassau series consists of shallow, somewhat excessively drained soils formed in channery till derived from acid shale and slate. They are nearly level to very steep soils that overlie shale bedrock at depths of 25 to 50 cm. They are found on summits, shoulders, and backslopes of ridges and hills on glaciated uplands. Slope ranges from 0 to 70 percent. Mean annual temperature is 9 degrees C and mean annual precipitation is 1,200 mm.

TAXONOMIC CLASS: Loamy-skeletal, mixed, active, mesic Lithic Dystrudepts

TYPICAL PEDON: Nassau channery silt loam, on a 10 percent slope in a rolling area that is pastured. (Colors refer to moist soil unless otherwise noted).

Ap -- 0 to 8 cm; dark brown (10YR 3/3) channery silt loam; pale brown (10YR 6/3) dry: weak fine granular structure; very friable; common fine and medium roots; 35 percent shale fragments; strongly acid; abrupt smooth boundary. (8 to 25 cm thick.)

Bw -- 8 to 43 cm; yellowish brown (10YR 5/4) very channery silt loam; weak fine subangular blocky structure; friable; few fine roots; 45 percent shale fragments; strongly acid; abrupt wavy boundary. (10 to 38 cm thick.)

2R -- 43 cm; hard brown (10YR 4/3) and greenish gray (5G 5/1) folded shale interbedded with red and green shale.

TYPE LOCATION: Columbia County, New York. Town of Chatham, 600 feet west of Reed Road, 0.3 mile south of the intersection of Reed Road and Richmond Road. USGS East Chatham, NY topographic quadrangle; Latitude 42 degrees, 27 minutes, 21.3 seconds N. and Longitude 73 degrees, 36 minutes, 20.42 seconds W. WGS84.

RANGE IN CHARACTERISTICS: Thickness of the solum and depth to bedrock ranges from 25 to 50 cm. Rock fragments are mainly slate and shale with content ranging from 10 to 50 percent by volume in the Ap horizon and 35 to 70 percent in the B horizon. Rock fragments are mainly channers, but includes 0 to 20 percent flagstones in the A horizon and 0 to 25 percent flagstones below. Some areas are very stony or extremely stony.

The Ap horizon has hue of 7.5YR through 2.5Y, value of 3 or 5, and chroma of 2 or 3. Texture of the fine earth fraction is loam or silt loam. Structure is weak or moderate, medium or fine granular. Consistence is friable or very friable. Unless limed, reaction ranges from extremely acid to strongly acid. Some pedons have thin O horizons that are extremely acid or very acid.

The Bw horizon has hue of 7.5YR through 2.5Y, value of 4 or 5, and chroma of 3 through 8. Texture of the fine-earth fraction is loam or silt loam. Structure is weak or moderate, medium or fine subangular blocky. Consistence is friable or very friable. Unless limed, reaction ranges from very strongly acid through moderately acid.

Some thicker pedons have thin C or 2Cr horizons immediately above the bedrock. C or 2Cr horizons have a hue of 10YR or 2.5Y, value of 3 through 5 and chroma of 1 through 6. The C horizon has similar textures, rock fragment content, and reaction to the Bw horizon. The 2Cr horizon consists of highly fractured soft weathered bedrock.

COMPETING SERIES: The Arnot, Klinesville, Sylvatus, and Weikert series are in the same family. Arnot soils are dominated by siltstone and sandstone rock fragments. Klinesville soils have hues of 5YR or redder throughout. Sylvatus soils formed in residuum and have rock fragments that are dominantly metasedimentary phylitte. Weikert soils have 10 to 40 percent of the clay fraction dominated by kaolinite.

The Benson, Berks, Manlius, and Palatine soils are similar soils in related families. Benson soils have greater than 60 percent base saturation. Berks and Manlius soils have bedrock at depths of 50 to 100 cm. Palatine soils have mollic epipedons and are 50 to 100 cm deep to bedrock.

GEOGRAPHIC SETTING: Nassau soils are nearly level to steep soils on bedrock-controlled, glacially modified landforms. Slope ranges from 0 to 70 percent. They formed in till derived mainly from local slate or shale similar to that of the R horizon. Mean annual temperature ranges from 7 to 10 degrees C., mean annual precipitation ranges from 760 to 1,270 mm, and mean annual frost-free season ranges from 130 to 190 days. The elevation ranges from 45 to 275 meters above sea level.

GEOGRAPHICALLY ASSOCIATED SOILS: These are the Bath, Bernardston, Chippewa, Darien, Dutchess, Erie, Hudson, Mardin, Manlius, Marilla, Pittstown, Rhinebeck and Venango soils. Chippewa, Manlius and Venango are typically associated in the extreme southern portions of MLRA 144A. Bath, Chippewa, Erie, Mardin, Marilla and Venango are very deep soils that contain fragipans. Bernardston and Pittstown are very deep soils with C horizons in dense, very firm basal till. Darien soils are very deep somewhat poorly drained soils that contain argillic horizons. Dutchess soils are very deep and have a coarse loamy particle size. Hudson and Rhinebeck soils are very deep clayey soils that are moderately well drained and somewhat poorly drained, respectively. Manlius soils are 50 to 100 cm deep to bedrock.

DRAINAGE AND SATURATED HYDRAULIC CONDUCTIVITY: Somewhat excessively drained. The potential for surface runoff is medium to very high. Saturated hydraulic conductivity is moderately high or high.

USE AND VEGETATION: A large acreage is in woodlots containing sugar maple, red oak, American beech and other hardwoods. Hemlock is prominent on north-facing steep slopes. A high portion is idle or in unimproved pasture. Areas intimately associated with deeper soils are used for growing corn, oats, soy beans and hay.

DISTRIBUTION AND EXTENT: Central, southern and eastern New York, western Vermont, Massachusetts, and northwestern New Jersey. MLRA's 101, 140, 142, and 144A. The series is of large extent.


SERIES ESTABLISHED: Rensselaer County, New York, 1932.

REMARKS: Diagnostic horizons and features recognized in this pedon are:
1. Ochric epipedon - The zone from the surface to a depth of 8 cm (Ap horizon).
2. Cambic horizon - The zone from 8 to 43 cm (Bw horizon) with less than 60 percent base saturation as evidenced by strongly acid reaction.
3. Lithic contact - Bedrock at 43 cm.
4. Loamy-skeletal - Silt loam below 25 cm with 45 percent rock fragments.

National Cooperative Soil Survey