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Zampella, R. A. 1994. Morphologic and color pattern indicators of water table levels in sandy Pinelands soils. Soil Science. 157:312-317. (Summary)

I related growing-season (March-October) water-table levels, measured over a four-year period, to soil features along a gradient of upland and wetland pitch pine dominated sites in the New Jersey Pinelands (Pine Barrens). The sites were associated with very poorly to somewhat poorly drained soils of the Lakewood sand catena. Sites with higher water tables generally displayed thicker O and A horizons and a higher frequency of black A horizons. The thickness of the E horizon varied among sites but was unrelated to water level. Soils with values and chromas of 2 or 3 in the Bh horizons characterized sites with first-quartile water-table levels between 15 - 60 cm from the surface. Although relatively bright, high-chroma horizons (brownish yellow to yellow) with or without low-chroma mottling (chromas less than or equal to 2) were most common in soils at sites with first-quartile water levels > 45 cm from the surface, they also occurred at some of the most frequently saturated sites. When found, low-chroma mottles and the lower surface of high-chroma horizons without mottling usually occurred at or below the highest water level recorded during the four-year monitoring period. I concluded that morphologic and color pattern features are useful but not absolute indicators of water-table levels in the Lakewood catena soils that I studied.

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