Established Series


The Wethersfield series consists of very deep, well drained loamy soils formed in dense glacial till on uplands. The soils are moderately deep to dense basal till. They are nearly level to steep soils on till plains, low ridges, and drumlins. Saturated hydraulic conductivity is moderately low to high in the solum and low to moderately high in the substratum. Slope ranges from 0 to 35 percent. Mean annual temperature is about 11 degrees C and mean annual precipitation is about 1270 mm.

TAXONOMIC CLASS: Coarse-loamy, mixed, active, mesic Oxyaquic Dystrudepts

TYPICAL PEDON: Wethersfield loam - forested, very stony. (Colors are for moist soil.)

Oe--0 to 3 cm; black (10YR 2/1) moderately decomposed plant material. (0 to 10 cm thick)

A--3 to 8 cm; dark brown (7.5YR 3/2) loam; moderate medium granular structure; friable; many fine and medium roots; 10 percent gravel; strongly acid; clear wavy boundary. (5 to 10 cm thick)

Bw1--8 to 22 cm; reddish brown (5YR 4/4) loam; weak medium subangular blocky structure; friable; common fine and medium roots; 10 percent gravel; strongly acid; clear wavy boundary.

Bw2--22 to 69 cm; dark reddish brown (5YR 3/3) gravelly loam; weak medium subangular blocky structure; friable; few medium roots; 15 percent gravel and cobbles; strongly acid; clear wavy boundary. (Combined thickness of the Bw horizons is 46 to 94 cm.)

Cd--69 to 165 cm; reddish brown (2.5YR 4/4) gravelly loam; weak thick platy structure; very firm, brittle; few silt films and black coatings on some plates; 20 percent gravel and cobbles; strongly acid.

TYPE LOCATION: Middlesex County, Connecticut; town of Middlefield, about 50 feet south of Route 66 at the south end of Mt. Higbee Reservoir; USGS Middletown topographic quadrangle; latitude 41 degrees 32 minutes 17 seconds N., longitude 72 degrees 43 minutes 32 seconds W., NAD 27.

RANGE IN CHARACTERISTICS: Thickness of the solum commonly is 51 to 102 cm and typically corresponds to the depth to the dense substratum. Depth to bedrock is commonly more than 183 cm. Rock fragments range from 5 to 25 percent by volume in the solum and from 5 to 35 percent in the substratum. Except where the surface is stony, the fragments are mostly subrounded gravel and typically make up 60 percent or more of the total rock fragments. Unless limed, reaction ranges from extremely acid through moderately acid to a depth of 152 cm, and from strongly acid through mildly alkaline below 152 cm.

The O horizon, where present, commonly has hue of 7.5YR or 10YR, value of 2, and chroma of 1 or 2. In lieu texture is slightly to highly decomposed plant material.

The A horizon has hue of 5YR through 10YR, value of 2 to 4, and chroma of 1 to 3. Disturbed pedons have an Ap horizon with value of 3 or 4 and chroma of 2 to 4. The A or Ap horizon is loam, silt loam, very fine sandy loam, or fine sandy loam.

The Bw horizon has hue of 2.5YR or 5YR, value of 3 to 5, and chroma of 3 to 6. Some pedons have a few faint redoximorphic features just above the Cd horizon. The Bw horizon is commonly loam, silt loam, or fine sandy loam but the range includes sandy loam. It has weak or moderate, granular or subangular blocky structure.

Some pedons have a BC horizon.

The Cd horizon has hue of 10R to 5YR, value of 3 to 5, and chroma of 2 through 6. It is loam, silt loam, or fine sandy loam. The horizon has weak or moderate, medium to very thick platy structure or it is massive. Consistence is firm or very firm. The base saturation increases in some pedons below a depth of 40 inches.

COMPETING SERIES: These are the Amostown, Bernardston, Broadbrook, Horseneck (tentative), Nantucket, Paxton, and Scituate soils. Amostown soils are underlain by stratified very fine sand or silt within a depth of 40 inches. Bernardston and Broadbrook soils have 7.5YR or yellower hue in the B horizon. Horseneck soils lack a densic contact. Scituate soils have sandy substrata. Nantucket soils have a lithologic discontinuity and do not have hue redder than 10YR in the substratum. Paxton soils do not have hue redder than 7.5YR in the subsoil and substratum.

GEOGRAPHIC SETTING: Wethersfield soils are nearly level to steep and are on till plains, low ridges, and drumlins. Slope ranges from 0 to 35 percent. The soils formed in acid glacial till derived mostly from reddish sandstone, shale, and conglomerate with some basalt. Mean annual temperature ranges from 7 to 11 degrees C, mean annual precipitation ranges from 1016 to 1270 mm and the growing season ranges from 130 to 185 days.

GEOGRAPHICALLY ASSOCIATED SOILS: These are the competing Broadbrook soils and the Cheshire, Berlin, Birchwood, Branford, Ellington, Hartford, Holyoke, Ludlow, Manchester, Menlo, Newport, Poquonock, Watchaug, Wilbraham, and Yalesville soils. The moderately well drained Ludlow, poorly drained Wilbraham, and the very poorly drained Menlo soils are associated in a drainage sequence. Berlin soils are on lacustrine terraces. Branford, Ellington, Hartford, and Manchester soils are on nearby outwash terraces and are underlain by stratified sand and gravel. Cheshire soils do not have a dense substratum. Holyoke and Yalesville soils have bedrock within 40 inches. Newport soils have hue of 2.5Y or 5Y in the upper part of the B horizon. The Poquonock soils and moderately well drained Birchwood soils have a sandy over loamy particle-size control section. Watchaug soils are moderately well drained and lack a dense substratum.

DRAINAGE AND SATURATED HYDRAULIC CONDUCTIVITY: Well drained. Surface runoff is negligible to high. Saturated hydraulic conductivity is moderately low to high in the solum and low to moderately high in the substratum.

USE AND VEGETATION: Many areas are cleared and used for cultivated crops, hay, or pasture. Some areas are used for vegetables, orchards, and nursery stock. Scattered areas are used for community development. Some areas are wooded. Common trees are red, white, and black oak, hickory, ash, sugar maple, red maple, beech, gray birch, white pine, and hemlock.

DISTRIBUTION AND EXTENT: MLRAs 144A and 145 in the Connecticut Valley of Connecticut and Massachusetts and northeastern New Jersey and southeastern New York. The series is of moderate extent.


SERIES ESTABLISHED: Somerset County, New Jersey, 1919.

REMARKS: Wethersfield soils were previously classified as Typic Dystrochrepts, and before that as Typic Fragiochrepts.

Diagnostic horizons and other features recognized in this pedon include:

1. Ochric epipedon - the zone from 3 to 8 cm (A horizon).
2. Cambic horizon - the zone from 8 to 69 cm (Bw horizon).
3. Densic material - the zone from 69 to 165 cm (Cd horizon).
4. Oxyaquic feature - based on saturation in one or more layers within 100 cm of the mineral surface, for one month or more per year in 6 out of 10 years. A perched water table is at a depth of 18 to 30 inches February through April.

ADDITIONAL DATA: Characterization data are available for pedons 8500052, 8500056, and 9300718 from Middlesex County, Connecticut, 1983 and 1993. Pedon data are also published in the Soil Survey of Hartford County, Connecticut - 1962.

National Cooperative Soil Survey