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Location: Dartmoor

Australian Soil Classification: Parapanic, Humosesquic, Semiaquic PODOSOL (confidence level 1)
General Landscape Description: Dune
Site Description: Lower slope, 2%
Land Unit: Follet Dunes and Plains
Geology: Quaternary aeolian

General Land Unit Description: The majority of this land unit falls south of the Kanawinka fault. This land unit comprises areas with deep sand deposits. The residual landscape is thought to be influenced by the retreat of the Murray Sea which left stranded beach ridges oriented south west–north east. These were subsequently covered by superficial sand sheets in later depositional phases, which formed the landscape seen today.

The major landforms in this land unit are dunes and swales. Podosols and Kurosols or Chromosols are the major soil types found on the dunes and rises. Podosols are soils with a ‘coffee rock’ layer (refer to photograph). The Kurosols or Chromosols tend to have a deep sandy topsoil over the clay. The common soil types on the swales are black cracking clay (Vertosols) or Grey Sodosols. Some Ferric Kurosols or Chromosols can also occur on the swales or lower slopes of the dunes.

Soil pit GL34 auger

Soil Profile Morphology

A10-30 cmVery dark grey (2.5Y3/1); loamy sand; apedal structure; loose consistence, dry; pH 6.1; changes to:

A230-50 cmDark greyish brown (10YR4/2), bleached (10YR6/1d); sand; massive structure; very weak consistence, dry; pH 5.0; changes to:


Bhs50-70 cmBlack (7.5YR2.5/1); loamy sand; massive structure; strong consistence, dry; pH 5.3; changes to:

B2170-90 cmPale brown (10YR6/3), with many orange mottles; sandy clay; very firm consistence, moderately moist; some organic staining along root channels evident; pH 6.9; changes to:

B2290-150 cmLight grey (10YR7/2), with many orange mottles; light medium clay; very firm consistence, moderately moist; pH 7.0; changes to:

B23150-170 cmLight brownish grey (2.5Y6/2), with many orange and few red mottles; medium clay; very firm consistence, moderately moist; pH 7.0; changes to:

BC170-200 cmHeavy clay; very firm consistence, moderately moist; pH 7.

Key profile features:

  • Strongly acidic topsoil
  • Strongly acidic top of the subsoil
  • Sandy topsoil
  • Strong texture contrast between topsoil and subsoil
  • Mottled subsoil
  • Sodic subsoil
  • ‘Coffee rock’

Soil pit GL34 graphs

Profile Described By: Natalie Baxter and Grant Boyle, 2nd October 2000.
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