Established Series


The Tangair soils have light gray, medium acid, sand A1 horizons, light gray, medium acid, sand A2 horizons about 20 inches thick, very pale brown, very strongly acid, sand Bcs horizons with concretions and white, strongly acid, sand C horizons.

TAXONOMIC CLASS: Mixed, thermic Aquic Durinodic Xeropsamments

TYPICAL PEDON: Tangair sand - low open stand of chaparral (Colors are for dry soil unless otherwise stated.)

Al--0 to 4 inches; Light gray (10YR 6/1) sand, very dark grayish brown (10YR 3/2) moist; weak coarse granular structure; loose; common very fine and few fine roots; many very fine interstitial pores; layer of white sand grains on surface; medium acid (pH 6.0); clear wavy boundary. (3 to 6 inches thick)

A2--4 to 24 inches; Light gray (10YR 7/2 dry and moist) sand; massive; loose; few fine and medium roots; many fine interstitial pores; firm bodies l/16 to 1/8 inch across make up 1/2 percent of mass, uniformly distributed, reddish brown (5YR 5/4 and 6/4 moist); a few reddish sand grains; medium acid (pH 6.0); gradual wavy boundary. (15 to 24 inches thick)

Bcs1--24 to 36 inches; Very pale brown (10YR 7/3) sand, light gray (10YR 7/2) moist; single grained; loose; few fine roots; many very fine interstitial pores; concretions make up 5 to 15 percent of mass and tend to occur in pockets 1 to 2 feet across (see horizon below for additional detail); 1 to 2 percent of sand grains are light reddish brown (5YR 6/4 moist); very strongly acid (pH 4.5); gradual smooth boundary. (8 to 15 inches thick)

Bcs2--36 to 48 inches; Very pale brown (10YR 7/3) sand, light gray (10YR 7/2) moist; single grained; loose; very few fine roots in upper portion; many very fine interstitial pores; 15 to 35 percent concretions, mostly in pockets several feet across; as small as 1/2 inch and as large as 3x6 inches, concretions are reddish brown and yellowish brown (5YR 3/4, 4/4, 5/4 moist, and 10YR 5/4 to 5YR 4/4 dry), shell of concretions redder than interior, small concretions and interior of larger ones have higher chroma and are softer, concretions in Bcs1 similar to the preceding; concretions are very hard when dry; 1 to 2 percent of sand grains are light reddish brown (5YR 6/4 moist); very strongly acid (pH 5.0); gradual wavy boundary. (8 to 15 inches thick)

C--48 to 56 inches; White (10YR 8/2) sand, light gray (10YR 7/2) moist; single grained; loose; many very fine interstitial pores; few reddish sand grains; very few soft bodies similar to concretions in Bcs1 and Bcs2 horizons; strongly acid (pH 5.2).

TYPE LOCATION: Santa Barbara County, California; Vandenberg Air Force Base, 1/4 mile west of control building and 75 yards north of road. Surf quadrangle 120 34 feet 10" W. and 34' 44' 50" N. 34 degrees North latitude 44 minutes, 50 seconds, 120 degrees West longitude.

RANGE IN CHARACTERISTICS: The mean annual soil temperature is 59 F. to 60 F., the soil temperature is not below 47 F., and the average winter soil temperature is about 53 F. The soils are saturated in most winters within 6 to 24 inches of the surface. By late summer the soils are dry to a depth of 5 feet or more. Soil between the depths of 12 and 35 inches usually is moist by early December and stays moist in some or all parts until May or June and is continuously dry the rest of the year. Textures throughout are sand or loamy sand. The A1 horizon is gray to light brownish gray (10YR 5/1, 5/2, 6/1, and 6/2) and neutral to medium acid. The A2 horizon is white to light gray (10YR 8/2, 8/1, 8/3, 7/1, 7/2, and 7/3) and moist chroma is 2 or 3. It is slightly to strongly acid. Reddish brown shot or bodies or concretions 1/8 to 1/2 inch in diameter make up 1/4 to 4 percent of this horizon. The Bcs horizon has the same color range as the A2 horizon, but on the average has about 1/2 unit stronger chroma. In some pedons, it has mottles with chroma of 3 through 6. Concretions make up 15 to 30 percent of the volume of the Bcs horizon. Most concretions are round, although some are joined into irregular lumps and in a few pedons the concretions are very numerous and form an imperfectly cemented pan. They are very hard to indurated and seem to be sand grains cemented by clay and possibly silica and colored by iron. They do not slake in water. There are 1 to 5 percent soft to firm bodies. Most of the Bcs horizons are medium, strongly or very strongly acid, but the range includes slightly acid. The C horizon is light yellowish brown to light gray or white. Concretions or brownish soft bodies make up less than 2 percent of the mass. At a depth of about 5 to 10 feet the sandy soil material is underlain by shale or dense fine material that is slowly or very slowly permeable.

COMPETING SERIES AND THEIR DIFFERENTIAE: These are the Arnold, Baywood, Carlsbad, Corralitos and Narlon series. Arnold and Corralitos soils lack concretions and seasonal saturation. Baywood soils have a mollic epipedon. Carlsbad soils have a duripan. Narlon soils have a clay argillic horizon.

SETTING: Tangair soils are nearly level to gently sloping. They are on terraces at elevations of 40 to 900 feet. The climate is dry subhumid mesothermal with cool rainless but foggy summers and cool moist winters. The mean annual precipitation is 14 to 20 inches. Average January temperature is about 53 F.; average July temperature is about 59 F.; mean annual temperature is about 55 F. The average freeze-free season is about 300 days.

PRINCIPAL ASSOCIATED SOILS: These are the competing Baywood and Narlon soils and the Crow Hill, Marina, and Oceano soils. Crow Hill soils have a mollic epipedon that rests on shale at a depth of less than 40 inches. Marina and Oceano soils lack concretions and seasonal saturation.

DRAINAGE AND PERMEABILITY: Somewhat poorly drained. In most years the soils are saturated within 6 to 24 inches of the surface in winter or early spring. Slow or very slow runoff. Soil permeability is rapid or very rapid, but underlying materials have slow or very slow permeability.

USE AND VEGETATION: Used for range, wildlife, watershed, and recreation. Vegetation is mostly moderately low chamise, ceanothus, fern, oak, and Monterey pine with very little annual grass and forb as understory.

DISTRIBUTION AND EXTENT: Coastal areas of central and southern California. It is of moderate extent.


SERIES ESTABLISHED: Santa Barbara County (Santa Ynez Area), California, 1927.

REMARKS: Tangair soils were formerly classified as Ground-Water Podzols.

OSED scanned by SSQA. Last revised by state on 1/73.

ADDITIONAL DATA: NSSL pedons S62CA-083-007 (type location) ans S62CA-083-008 (range in characteristics)

National Cooperative Soil Survey