Established Series


The Pequea series consists of deep, well drained soils on uplands. They formed in residuum weathered from micaceous limestone, graphitic phyllite, and schist. Slopes range from 3 to 50 percent. Permeability

is moderate to moderately rapid. Mean annual precipitation is 42 inches. Mean annual temperature is 53 degrees.

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

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

Ap--0 to 10 inches, dark brown (10YR 3/3) silt loam, pale brown (10YR 6/3) dry; weak fine granular structure; very friable, slightly sticky, slightly plastic; 5 percent rock fragments; slightly acid; clear wavy boundary. (6 to 12 inches thick.)

Bw--10 to 26 inches, very dark grayish brown (2.5Y 3/2) channery loam; weak fine subangular blocky structure; friable, slightly sticky, slightly plastic; common mica flakes; 20 percent rock fragments; neutral; gradual wavy boundary. (10 to 25 inches thick.)

C--26 to 52 inches, dark olive gray (5Y 3/2) and olive gray (5Y 4/2) channery loam; weak thin platy structure; friable; many mica flakes; 25 percent rock fragments; slightly effervescent, mildly alkaline; gradual wavy boundary. (6 to 30 inches thick.)

R--52 inches, dark gray (10YR 4/1) and black (10YR 2/1) interbedded micaceous limestone and graphitic phyllite bedrock.

TYPE LOCATION: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania; Manor Township; 1/4 mile west of intersection of Owl Bridge Road and Sun Land, 300 feet south of Owl Bridge Road.

RANGE IN CHARACTERISTICS: Solum thickness ranges from 16 to 35 inches. Depth to bedrock ranges from 40 to 60 inches. Rock fragments of limestone, phyllite, and schist range from 0 to 30 percent in the solum and from 10 to 40 percent in the C horizon. Mica content varies but increases with depth. The solum is slightly acid or neutral. The substratum is neutral to moderately alkaline and in some pedons contains carbonates.

The A horizon has hue 2.5Y or 10YR, value 3 or 4, and chroma 2 through 4. It is silt loam, loam or sandy loam in the fine earth. The A horizon has weak fine or medium granular structure and is friable or very friable.

The B horizon has hue 7.5YR through 2.5Y, value 2 through 4, and chroma 1 through 4. It is loam, silt loam, or sandy loam in the fine earth. The B horizon has weak, fine or medium subangular blocky or platy structure. It is friable or very friable.

The C horizon has hue 10YR through 5Y, value 3 or 4, and chroma 1 through 3. It is loam or sandy loam in the fine earth. The C horizon has weak thin or medium platy structure or it is massive. It is friable or very friable.

COMPETING SERIES: These are the Dover, Galway, Nellis, and Salter series in the same family.

Dover and Nellis soils have calcareous glacial till within 40 inches and do not have the mica content of Pequea. Galway soils are formed in glacial till and are less than 40 inches deep to bedrock. Salter soils formed in stratified glacial materials and are on old glacial lake terraces and stream benches.

GEOGRAPHIC SETTING: Pequea soils are on gently sloping to very steep hillsides and ridges. Slope gradients are between 3 and 50 percent. The soils are formed in residuum weathered from interbedded micaceous limestone, graphitic phyllite, and schist. The climate is humid and temperate with mean annual precipitation of 40 to 44 inches; average annual temperature is 50 degrees to 55 degrees F and the growing season is 170 to 200 days.

GEOGRAPHICALLY ASSOCIATED SOILS: Conestoga, Hollinger and Letort soils are in the same landscape. These soils have argillic horizons; Pequea soils do not.

DRAINAGE AND PERMEABILITY: Well drained with medium to rapid runoff. Permeability is moderate to moderately rapid.

USE AND VEGETATION: Land use is about equally divided between cropland, pasture and woodland. Woodland consists of mixed hardwoods of oak, hickory, and poplar.

DISTRIBUTION AND EXTENT: Southeastern Pennsylvania and Central Maryland. The series is of moderate extent.


SERIES ESTABLISHED: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 1937.

REMARKS: Diagnostic horizons and features recognized in this soil:
1. Ochric epipedon - the zone from 0 to 10 inches (Ap horizon).
2. Cambic horizon - the zone from 10 to 26 inches (Bw) horizon).

Revised to reflect depth of bedrock at 40-60 inches.

National Cooperative Soil Survey