Established Series


The Terra Ceia series consists of very deep, very poorly drained, rapidly permeable soils in fresh water marshes Southern Florida Flatwoods (MLRA 155), and to a lesser extent in the South Central Florida Ridge (MLRA 154), Southern Florida Lowlands (MLRA 155B, Atlantic Coast Flatwoods (MLRA 153A), Eastern Gulf Coast Flatwoods (MLRA 152A) and the Florida Everglades and Associated Areas (MLRA 156A). They formed in more than 50 inches of well decomposed, hydrophytic, herbaceous plant remains. Near the type location, the mean annual precipitation is about 61 inches and the mean annual temperature is about 75 degrees F. Slopes are 0 to 1 percent.

TAXONOMIC CLASS: Euic, hyperthermic Typic Haplosaprists

TYPICAL PEDON: Terra Ceia muck, in a sugarcane plantation (Colors are for moist soil).

Oap--0 to 8 inches; black (N 2/0) muck; weak fine and medium granular structure; less than 5 percent fiber rubbed; about 17 percent mineral content; very friable; common fine roots; moderately acid; clear wavy boundary. (0 to 16 inches thick)

Oa--8 to 65 inches; very dark brown (10YR 2/2) muck; weak medium subangular blocky structure; about 30 percent fiber unrubbed, about 10 percent rubbed; about 30 percent mineral; slightly acid.

TYPE LOCATION: Palm Beach County, Florida. About 3.0 miles east of the U.S. Sugar Corporation Mill at Bryant and 2.75 miles north of U.S. Highway 98. SE1/4, NE1/4, NE1/4; Sec. 6; T. 42 S., R. 38 E.

RANGE IN CHARACTERISTICS: Soil reaction is 4.5 or more in calcium chloride or moderately acid to moderately alkaline by Helig-Truog method. Thickness of the organic materials is more than 51 inches. A limestone substratum phase at a 60 to 80-inch depth is recognized.

Where present, the Oap horizon has hue of 5YR to 10YR, value of 2 or 3, and chroma of 1 or 2; or is neutral with value of 2 or 3. Fiber content is between 10 and 30 percent unrubbed and less than 10 percent rubbed. The surface layer is hemic or fibric in some pedons. Texture is muck.

The Oa horizon has hue of 5YR to 10YR, value of 2 or 3, and chroma of 1 or 2; or is neutral with value of 2 or 3. Fiber content ranges from 5 to 70 percent unrubbed and from 1 to 17 percent rubbed. Fibers are typically those of non-woody plants, but in some pedons, fibers from woody plants occur and range from about 5 to 30 percent unrubbed, of the organic volume. Mineral content of this horizon between depths of 16 to 51 inches ranges from about 5 to 40 percent.

Some pedons have Oi or Oe horizons below a depth of 51 inches and have the same colors and textures as the Oa horizon.

Some pedons have a Cg horizon below a depth of 55 inches. Where present, it has hue of 5YR to 5Y, value of 4 to 7, and chroma of 1 or 2. Textures range from sand to clay. Fragments of shell or hard limestone may be present.

COMPETING SERIES: The Torry series is the only soil in the same family. The Everglades, Hontoon, and Okeechobee series are in closely similar families. Torry soils have more than 40 percent mineral material in the subsurface tier. Everglades and Okeechobee soils have hemic layers in the control section. Hontoon soils are dysic.

GEOGRAPHIC SETTING: Terra Ceia soils are mostly in nearly level fresh water marshes or in depressions within areas of flatwoods. Some areas are in river flood plains or tidal areas flooded daily by brackish water. They formed largely from non-woody fibrous remains of hydrophytic plants. Slopes are less than 1 percent. The climate is humid subtropical. The average annual rainfall ranges from 50 to 60 inches and the average annual air temperature ranges from 70 to 74 degrees F.

GEOGRAPHICALLY ASSOCIATED SOILS: In addition to the competing Torry series, these are the Anclote, Canova, Chobee, Delray, Floridana, Gator, Lauderhill, Manatee, Okeelanta, Pahokee, Pompano, Tequesta, and Winder series. Anclote, Chobee, Delray, Floridana, Manatee, Pompano and Winder soils are mineral soils. Canova and Tequesta soils are mineral soils having a surface consisting of a histic epipedon that is less than 16 inches in thickness. Lauderhill soils have a shallow histic epipedon over limestone bedrock. Gator and Okeelanta soils have a histic epipedon 16 to 50 inches in thickness. Pahokee soils have a histic epipedon 36 to 50 inches in thickness overlying limestone bedrock.

DRAINAGE AND PERMEABILITY: Very poorly drained; rapid permeability and internal drainage; slow to ponded runoff. In drained areas, water control systems regulate the level of the water table to depths of 12 to 48 inches, depending on the crop grown. In undrained areas, the water table is at or above the soil surface except during extended dry periods. Areas on flood plains are flooded for long duration.

USE AND VEGETATION: Drained areas are used for truck and bulb crops, sugarcane, and improved pasture. Large undeveloped areas are used for water storage and as wildlife habitat. The natural vegetation consists of sawgrass, lilies, sedges, reeds, maidencane, spikerush, and other aquatic plants. Wooded plant species include cypress, blackgum, cabbage palm, carolina ash, loblolly bay, red maple, sweetbay, and pond pine. American and white mangrove trees are dominant in tidal areas.

DISTRIBUTION AND EXTENT: The hyperthermic region of peninsular Florida. The series is of large extent (about 390,000 acres).


SERIES ESTABLISHED: Manatee County, Florida; 1950.

REMARKS: Diagnostic horizons and features recognized in this pedon:

Sapric material - the zone from the surface to a depth of 65 inches, or more (Oap and Oa horizons).

Endosaturation - Saturated throughout the profile to the and/or above the muck surface.

ADDITIONAL DATA: Laboratory data is available on the National Soil Survey website at: http://ncsslabdatamart.sc.egov.usda.gov/querypage.aspx

Laboratory data is provided by the University of Florida, Department of Soil and Water Science, Gainesville, FL.

Terra Ceia soils are in MLRAs 154, 155, 152A, 153A, 156A and 156B.

National Cooperative Soil Survey