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Soil and Hydrology of a Wet-Sandy Catena in East-Central Minnesota

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Abstract:Sail properties are strongly related to the retention and movement of water within the soil system. The purposes of this study were to document the near-surface hydrology of a wetland-upland hillslope on a sandy glacial outwash plain in east-central Minnesota and to describe the patterns of soil morphology with respect to observed hydrology. Water levels,
soil temperature, soil-water tension, and redox potential were monitored at seven points along a 41-m hillslope transect composed of Psamments, Aquents, Aquods, and Saprists. In addition to standard field descriptions, particle-size distribution, percentage of organic C, and
citrate-dithionate and ammonium-oxalate extractable Fe (Fed and Fe. respectively) were
determined for profiles at each transect point. During the study period, the 30-yr mean annual precipitation (MAP) was exceeded in 4 of 5 yr. Mean water levels were highest in spring and
water levels typically rose from September through May. The depth to redoximorphic features increases with elevation above the peatland and the upper extent of redoximorphic features is 15 to 60 cm above the measured mean water table level. In the upper landscape positions, the redoximorphic features were located 12 cm above the maximum recorded water level. The distribution characteristics of Fe throughout the soil system indicate that Fe has been removed from the upslope soils and reconcentrated in organic-rich horizons in the lower landscape positions. The combination of Fe distribution and the location of redoximorphic features well above the mean water table suggest that the regional water table has been lowered. Water serves as one of the primary energy sources for landscape processes, such as sequestration of organic C (OC), erosion, colonization of vegetation, and distribution of soluble and mobile compounds. Ile correlation between water status, landscape, and soil properties has been well-documented in pedologic studies. A brief review indicates that the correlation persists across land types and geographic locations. Simonson and Boersma (1972) documented strong correlation between depth to water table and soil color pat- terns in a drainage sequence in western Oregon. In Illinois, Kreznor et al. (1989) found that landscape position and terrain attributes affect distribution of soil properties such as A horizon thickness and clay and OC content. Evans and Franzmeier (1 986) discussed the relationships between duration and season of occurrence of soil saturation with soil color patterns in north- central Indiana. Pickering and Veneman (1984) also found evidence of relationships between duration and time of soil saturation and distribution of soil color in a hydrosequence in Massachusetts. ne Wet Soil Monitoring Project (WSMP) is a cooperative project between the NRCS-National Soil Survey Center, under the Global Change Initiative, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wetlands Research Program, and several universities in the USA. The overarching objective of the project is to collect baseline data for hydrology and soil properties in different climatic regimes and landscapes so that these data can be used in the future to evaluate the effects of climate change on landscape hydrology and ecosystems. Eight states- Alaska, Indiana, Louisiana, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Texas, Oregon, and Minnesota-participate in the WSMP (Lynn et al., 1996). One of the specific areas that WSMP researchers are focusing on is morphological indicators of hydric soils. This study documents the observations and results of the Minnesota WSMP Site at Cedar Creek on the Anoka Sandplain (Fig. 1). Review of the literature for the area indicates that the hydrology of the Anoka Sandplain prior to the 1970s lacks documentation, especially on a landscape scale. The Cedar Creek WSMP site provides a platform to document the current hydrology and its relationship to soil morphology from a catena perspective. Objectives for the study were to (i) document the near-surface hydrology of an upland-wetland transect representative of undisturbed conditions within the An- oka Sandplain and (ii) describe the spatial distribution of soil morphological properties with respect to hillslope hydrology. Our hypothesis is that the spatial distribution of redoximorphic features in soils is a function of the location of the near-surface water table relative to the soil surface.
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Citation:Reuter, R. J., and J. C. Bell. Soil and Hydrology of a Wet-Sandy Catena in East-Central Minnesota. SOIL SCIENCE SOCIETY OF AMERICA JOURNAL 65(6):1559-1569, (2001).
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Contact: Chris Siebert - (702) 798-2234 or siebert.christopher@epa.gov
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Division: Environmental Sciences Division
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Branch: Landscape Characterization Branch (RTP)
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Product Type: Journal
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Published: 11/02/2001
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Regional Scale Comparative Risk Assessment
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Last Updated on Monday, October 22, 2007
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