Established Series


The Norton series consists of deep well drained soils on uplands. They formed in fine textured red till or colluvium. Slope ranges from 0 to 20 percent. Norton soils are very slowly permeable.

TAXONOMIC CLASS: Fine, mixed, subactive, mesic Ultic Hapludalfs

TYPICAL PEDON: Norton loam - cultivated. (Colors are for moist soil.)

Ap--0 to 10 inches, reddish brown (5YR 4/3) loam, (5YR 5/3) dry; weak fine granular structure; friable; 2 percent quartzose pebbles; strongly acid. (8 to 12 inches thick)

B1--10-14 inches, weak red (2.5YR 4/2) silty clay loam; weak coarse subangular blocky structure vertically elongated parting to moderate fine subangular and angular blocky structure; extremely hard in place, friable when removed, slightly sticky, plastic; some roots in crevices; patchy clay films; 5 percent shale fragments and some quartzose pebbles; strongly acid; gradual smooth boundary. (2 to 6 inches thick)

B21t--14 to 24 inches, dark reddish brown (2.5YR 3/4) heavy silty clay loam; 30 percent reddish brown (2.5YR 4/4) and 2 percent black (N 2/ ) mottles; moderate medium prismatic structure parting to moderate thick platy structure; extremely hard, very firm, sticky, plastic; roots in crevices; dense; small black dull clay films; 2 percent quartzose pebbles; strongly acid; clear wavy boundary. (3 to 12 inches thick)

B22t--24 to 44 inches, weak red (2.5YR 4/3) heavy silty clay loam; weak and moderate, coarse and medium, imperfect prismatic structure and a few horizontal partings; extremely hard, very firm, sticky, plastic; very few roots; dense; thick shiny clay films on faces of all peds; 5 percent quartzose pebbles; very strongly acid; diffuse smooth boundary. (15 to 25 inches thick)

B23t--44 to 63 inches, weak red (2.5YR 4/3) and yellowish red (5YR 4/6) silty clay loam; massive and some weak coarse prismatic structure; extremely hard, very firm, sticky, plastic; dense; 5 percent quartzose pebbles; thin smooth clay films on faces of all peds; very strongly acid; clear wavy boundary. (10 to 25 inches thick)

IIC--63 to 70 inches, dark reddsh brown (2.5YR 3/4) shaly loam; mossive; 20 percent fragments of red shale 1/2 to several inches across, on coating surfaces; medium acid; gradual irregular boundary. (0 to 15 inches thick)

IIR--70 inches, coarsely fractured red shale with all crevices somewhat thinly coated.

TYPE LOCATION: Somerset County, New Jersey; Hillsboro Township; 50 feet south of barn west side of Beekman lane, 1/2 mile north of New Amwell Road, 2250 feet south of Lehigh Valley Railroad.

RANGE IN CHARACTERISTICS: Solum thickness ranges from 40 to 80 or more inches. Depth to bedrock is 3 1/2 to 10 feet. Coarse fragments are dominantly pebbles or cobblestones of quartz or gneiss. Most pedons contain a few fragments of shale in the solum but the amount increases sharply in the C horizon. Coarse fragments range from 0 to 15 percent in the A and B horizons and 2 to 90 percent in the C horizon. The soil ranges from very strongly acid to medium acid where unlimed. The Ap horizon ranges from dark reddish brown (2.5YR 3/4) through dark reddish gray (5YR 4/2). The A1 horizon is black (5YR 2/1) or nearly black; and the A2 horizon reddish brown (5YR 4/4) to dark reddish brown (5YR 3/3). The A horizons are loam or silt loam. The Bt horizon has hues of 10R and 2.5YR, values of 3 or 4 and chromas of 3 through 6. It is mainly heavy silty clay loam but the range includes heavy clay loam and clay. Subhorizons of the argillic horizon range from 30 to 50 percent clay and the upper 20 inches averages more than 35 percent. The upper part of the B horizon commonly has moderate medium prismatic structure parting to moderate medium platy and strong to moderate medium subangular and angular blocky structure; the lower part is generally massive, and some pedons have thin vertical cracks. The soil is very firm and few roots reach beyond a depth of 24 inches except those that are in cracks. The C horizon dominantly has hues of 2.5YR, values of 3 and chroma of 4. It ranges from shaly or very shaly loam to sandy loam.

COMPETING SERIES: These are the Fauquier, Fredonia, Montalto, Needmore and Pisgah series. The Fauquier and Needmore soils have sola less than 40 inches thick. Fredonia soils have base saturation of more than 35 percent. The Montalto soils have coarse fragments of diabase or basalt throughout the sola. Pisgah soils have Bt horizons of 7.5YR or yellower hue and have angular chert fragments throughout the solum. GEOGRAPHIC SETTING: Norton soils are on broad, gently sloping uplands. They formed in materials derived largely from acid red shale of Triassic age and are underlain by such rocks. The materials are presumed to be mostly glacial till of pre-Wisconsin age or periglacial deposits of similar age. Locally the materials are colluvium underlain by red shale. The climate is humid temperate. Average annual temperatures range from 50 to 55 degrees F., average annual precipitation from 40 to 48 inches and frost free days from 160 to 190.

GEOGRAPHICALLY ASSOCIATED SOILS: These are the Bucks, Doylestown, Lansdowne, Penn and Reaville soils. Bucks and Penn soils contain less clay in the Bt horizon and Penn soils are also shallower to bedrock. The Doylestown, Lansdowne and Reaville soils have mottles of low chroma in the upper part of the Bt horizons.

DRAINAGE AND PERMEABILITY: Norton soils are well drained. Runoff is slow on the predominantly gentle slopes. They are slowly permeable. Water may be perched over the dense Bt horizon for short periods.

USE AND VEGETATION: Most of the soil has been cleared and cropped chiefly to small grain, corn, soybeans and hay or is in pasture. Wild vegetation consists mainly of oaks, hickories, beech and maple.

DISTRIBUTION AND EXTENT: Norton soils are in Triassic Basins of the northern part of the Piedmont Plateau in New Jersey and possibly in Pennsylvania and Maryland. It is of small extent, about 9000 acres.


SERIES ESTABLISHED: Upper Raritan River Survey, W-84, SCS, N.J., 1937.

REMARKS: The Norton series were classified as Red-Yellow Podzolic soils intergrading to Gray Brown Podzolic soils in the 1938 classification system.

ADDITIONAL DATA: Characterization data from the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station are available for Pedons S64NJ-18-1, S64NJ-18-2 and S64NJ-18-3. Not in SSI Report 26.

National Cooperative Soil Survey