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Victorian State Soil Contender - Brown Dermosol

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Why should the Brown Dermosol be Victoria’s State Soil?

Poem: 'The Surface of a Soul'

  • These soils are common in hilly to mountainous country in southern Victoria (particularly in the Otway and Strzelecki ranges) and the Eastern highlands. In the Otways and Strzelecki ranges, they support dairy and some potato cropping.
  • The Giant Gippsland Earthworm can be found living in Brown Dermosols in the Strzelecki ranges.
  • Brown Dermosols are widespread soils in the higher rainfall mountainous areas of eastern and northeastern Victoria - so it would be fair to say that a significant amount of the State's water resource is initially filtered by these soils.
Any reasons why this soil should not be Victoria’s State Soil?
  • Brown Dermosols are not as widespread as soils such as Sodosols.
Key features of the Brown Dermosol
  • Brown Dermosols are not texture contrast soils (such as Sodosols, Chromosols and Kurosols). They are characterised by a gradual (or negligible) change in texture (i.e. clay content) with depth down the soil profile. The subsoils of Dermosols display structural development and the main colour is brown. Brown Dermosols are usually strongly acid where they occur in higher rainfall areas of Victoria (e.g. Strzelecki and Otway ranges and eastern highlands).
Photo: Soil Profile Brown Dermosol
Brown Dermosol typical of mountainous areas in the eastern highlands of Victoria.
Typical soil profile
This profile is of a Brown Dermosol formed on Cretaceous hills in the Strzelecki ranges.
Photo: sg12 Soil Pit Site profile
Brown Dermosol in the Strzelecki ranges.
Surface Soil
A110-15 cmDark greyish brown; silty clay loam; very strongly acid (pH 4.8)
A1215-35 cmBrown; silty clay loam
B2135-60 cmYellowish brown; light clay; moderate polyhedral structure; very strongly acid (pH 4.7)
B2260-80 cmPale brown; light medium clay; moderate polyhedral structure
B2380-100 cmPale brown; medium clay; very strongly acid (pH 4.7)
C100 cm+Weathered sedimentary rock
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