Established Series


The Wellsford series consists of shallow, well drained, very slowly permeable soils on narrow divides and side slopes within the Central Rolling Red Plains (MLRA 78C). They formed in material weathered from shale of Cretaceous age. Slope ranges from 1 to 25 percent. Mean annual air temperature is 57 degrees F, and mean annual precipitation is 24 inches.

TAXONOMIC CLASS: Clayey, mixed, active, thermic, shallow Typic Haplustepts

TYPICAL PEDON: Wellsford clay - 11 percent slope in native grass. (Colors are for dry soil unless otherwise stated.)

A--0 to 5 inches; grayish brown (10YR 5/2) clay, dark grayish brown (10YR 4/2) moist; weak fine granular structure; hard, firm; common fine roots; slight effervescence in the lower part; moderately alkaline; gradual smooth boundary. (4 to 8 inches thick)

Bk--5 to 17 inches; olive (5Y 5/3) clay, olive (5Y 4/3) moist; moderate medium angular blocky structure; very hard, very firm; few fine roots; few fragments of sandstone less than 2 inches across; few calcium carbonate concretions 2 to 5 mm in diameter; strong effervescence; moderately alkaline; gradual smooth boundary. (4 to 16 inches thick)

Cr--17 to 40 inches; dark grayish brown (2.5Y 4/2) clayey shale.

TYPE LOCATION: Comanche County, Kansas; about 7 miles east and 3 miles north of Wilmore; 450 feet south of the northwest corner, sec. 4, T. 31 S., R. 16 W.

RANGE IN CHARACTERISTICS: The thickness of the solum and the depth to shale range from 10 to 20 inches. Depth to secondary calcium carbonates ranges form 0 to 10 inches. The soil is dominantly moderately alkaline, but some pedons are neutral and noncalcareous in the A horizon.

The A horizon has hue of 10YR to 5Y, value of 4 to 6 dry and 3 to 5 moist, and chroma of 2 to 4. It is clay, silty clay, silty clay loam or clay loam.

The Bk horizon has hue of 10YR to 5Y, value of 4 to 6 dry and 4 or 5 moist, and chroma of 2 to 6. It is clay, clay loam, or silty clay. Some pedons have brownish yellow to olive brown relic redoximorphic features in the Bk horizon.

The Cr or C horizon, where present, is mainly non-paralithic material which has hue of 10YR to 5Y, value of 3 to 7, and chroma of 1 to 8, with rock like structure. It has fractures that may either be more that 10 cm apart or less than 10 cm apart. The material slakes in water within 15 hours and the bulk density is high enough that it is root restrictive. Excavation difficulty is low to high.

COMPETING SERIES: There are no series in the same family. Series in similar families are the Knoco, Masham, Owens, Throck, and Vernon series. Masham soils are underlain by Permian aged materials and occur in regions with 28 to 40 inches mean annual precipitation. Knoco soils have sola less than 10 inches thick, and lack cambic horizons. Owens soils lack Cr horizons within a depth of 20 inches. Throck and Vernon soils have sola more than 20 inches thick.

GEOGRAPHIC SETTING: Wellsford soils are on gently sloping to steep narrow divides and side slopes. Slope ranges from 1 to 25 percent. The soil formed in clayey Kiowa shale of Cretaceous age. Mean annual precipitation ranges from 21 to 28 inches. Mean annual air temperature ranges from 57 to 61 degrees F. Thornthwaite annual P-E index ranges from 34 to 44. Frost Free days ranges from 185 to 200. Elevation ranges from 1800 to 2200 feet.

GEOGRAPHICALLY ASSOCIATED SOILS: These are the Case, Mansic, Oklark and Teagard soils. Case, Mansic and Oklark soils are loamy, more than 20 inches deep, and above Wellsford soils. Teagard soils are more than 20 inches deep, have vertic properties and are below Wellsford soils.

DRAINAGE AND PERMEABILITY: Well drained. Runoff is medium or high. Permeability is very slow.

USE AND VEGETATION: The principal use is for rangeland. Some less sloping areas are cultivated, principally to wheat. Native vegetation is mid and tall grasses.

DISTRIBUTION AND EXTENT: Central Rolling Red Plains (MLRA-78C) of South-central Kansas and north-central Oklahoma. The area is of moderate extent.


SERIES ESTABLISHED: Comanche County, Kansas, 1987.

REMARKS: Diagnostic horizons and features recognized in this pedon are:

ochric epipedon - zone from the surface to 5 inches (A horizon);

cambic horizon - the zone from approximately 5 to 17 inches (Bw horizon);

Cr (non-paralithic) horizon, beginning at about 17 inch depth.

These soils were formerly mapped in the Owens series.

Soil Interpretative Record: KS0185

National Cooperative Soil Survey