Established Series


The Ortega series consists of very deep, moderately well drained soils that formed in a sandy deposit on marine terraces. These soils are on nearly level to strongly sloping upland landscapes. Slopes range from 0 to 12 percent.

TAXONOMIC CLASS: Thermic, uncoated Typic Quartzipsamments

TYPICAL PEDON: Ortega fine sand on a smooth convex 1 percent slope in forest. (Colors are for moist soil.)

A--0 to 5 inches; grayish brown (10YR 5/2) fine sand; weak fine granular structure; very friable; very strongly acid; clear wavy boundary. (1 to 6 inches thick)

C1--5 to 33 inches; very pale brown (10YR 7/4) fine sand; single grained; loose; strongly acid; clear wavy boundary. (9 to 39 inches thick)

C2--33 to 48 inches; very pale brown (10YR 7/4) fine sand; common fine and medium distinct white (10YR 8/1) and reddish yellow (7.5YR 6/8) mottles below 40 inches; single grained; loose; moderately acid; clear smooth boundary. (0 to 28 inches thick)

C3--48 to 63 inches; white (10YR 8/1) fine sand; common medium distinct brownish yellow (10YR 6/6) and strong brown (7.5YR 5/8) masses of iron accumulation; single grained; slightly acid; clear smooth boundary. (7 to 24 inches thick)

C4--63 to 82 inches; very pale brown (10YR 8/2) fine sand; common coarse distinct black (5YR 2/1) organic stains in root channels; single grained; slightly acid.

TYPE LOCATION: Duval County, Florida; about 1,100 feet east of St. Johns Bluff Road, 1 7/16 miles south of Beach Boulevard in NW1/4NW1/4SW1/4, Sec. 5, T. 3 S. R. 28 E.

RANGE IN CHARACTERISTICS: These soils are extremely acid to slightly acid throughout. They are fine sand or sand to depths of more than 80 inches. Silt plus clay totals less than 5 percent between 10 and 40 inches.

The A horizon has hue of 10YR, value of 3 to 6, and chroma of 1 or 2.

The upper part of the C horizon has hue of 10YR, value of 5 to 7, and chroma of 3 to 8. Few to common, fine to coarse mottles or pockets of white or light gray uncoated sand grains occur in these horizons in some pedons, but are not indicative of wetness. In some pedons, reddish yellow, strong brown, or yellowish brown redox features occur in the lower part of the C2 horizon below a depth of about 48inches.

The lower part of the C horizon has hue of 10YR, value of 5 to 7, and chroma of 6 to 8; or value 7 or 8, chroma 1 or 2; or hue of 2.5Y, value of 7, and chroma of 4. This horizon has redox features in shades of brown, yellow, red, or gray.

In some pedons below a depth of about 60 inches, the Cg horizon has hue of 10YR, value of 6 to 8, and chroma of 1 or 2, with or without redox features in shades of red, yellow, gray, or black. Some pedons have few to common particles of heavy mineral present in this horizon.

COMPETING SERIES: These include the Fripp, Kershaw, Newhan, and Penney soils. Fripp, Kershaw, Newhan, and Penney soils lack a water table and do not have redox features within a depth of 60 inches.

GEOGRAPHIC SETTING: Ortega soils are in nearly level to strongly sloping landscapes. Slopes range from 0 to 12 percent. These soils formed in sandy marine or eolian deposits. The average annual precipitation is about 50 to 60, inches and mean annual temperature is about 65 to 70 degrees F.

GEOGRAPHICALLY ASSOCIATED SOILS: These are the competing Kershaw series and the Leon, Lynn Haven, Mandarin, Pottsburg, and Ridgeland series. Leon, Lynn Haven, Pottsburg, and Ridgeland soils are poorly drained and have Bh horizons at depths of less than 30 inches. In addition, Lynn Haven soils have umbric epipedons. Mandarin soils are somewhat poorly drained and have a Bh horizon.

DRAINAGE AND PERMEABILITY: Ortega soils are moderately well drained. Surface runoff is slow. Permeability is rapid. A water table is between 48 and 80 inches in depth for 6 to 8 months during most years but recedes to depths greater than 80 inches during droughty periods. The water table is above depths of 48 inches for periods of about 1 to 10 days duration after heavy rains during wet periods.

USE AND VEGETATION: Some areas of this soil are used for community development. A few areas are used for tame pasture, timber, and pulpwood production. Natural vegetation consists of second growth slash and longleaf pine, turkey and blackjack oak, and scattered saw palmetto with an understory of pineland threeawn, low panicums, and grassleaf goldaster.

DISTRIBUTION AND EXTENT: Northern peninsular Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and possibly North Carolina. The series is of large extent.


SERIES ESTABLISHED: Duval County, Florida; 1977.

REMARKS: Ortega soils were formerly included as a thermic phase of the Tavares series. Based on a 2-year soil temperature study, the mean annual soil temperature range for this soil in Duval County, Florida is about 69.2 degrees to 71.5 degrees F. Water table depths based on field measurements in Duval County, Florida.

Diagnostic horizons recognized in this pedon are:

Ochric epipedon--the zone from the surface of the soil to a depth of approximately 5 inches (A horizon).

Data: Soil Characterization Lab., IFAS, UF S10-4-(1-5), S16-3-(1-7), S19-10-(1-4), S33-10-(1-7), S34-15-(1-4), S37-3-(1-7), S45-5-(1-7), S65-7-(1-5), S65-17-(1-6)

REVISED=6/10/96, MHC


SOI-5 Soil Name Slope Airtemp FrFr/Seas Precip Elevation
FL0187 ORTEGA 0- 12 - - - -

SOI-5 FloodL FloodH Watertable Kind Months Bedrock Hardness FL0187 NONE 3.5-5.0 APPARENT JUN-JAN 60-60

SOI-5 Depth Texture 3-Inch No-10 Clay% -CEC- FL0187 0- 5 FS S 0- 0 100-100 1- 3 -
FL0187 5-82 FS S 0- 0 100-100 1- 3 -

SOI-5 Depth -pH- O.M. Salin Permeab Shnk-Swll
FL0187 0- 5 3.6- 6.5 1.-2. 0- 0 6.0- 20 LOW
FL0187 5-82 3.6- 6.5 - 0- 0 6.0- 20 LOW

National Cooperative Soil Survey