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Classification of Paleosols

Greg H. Mack, W. Calvin James and H. Curtis Monger
Classification of Paleosols
Geological Society of America Bulletin (February 1993) 105 (2): 129-136

Index Terms/Descriptors

Despite increased interest in paleosols during the past decade, no satisfactory classification is in current use. Presented here is a largely descriptive classification system that utilizes those pedogenic features that have the highest preservation potential in the rock record. Emphasized in the classification are morphological and mineralogical features that are easily recognizable in the field and through the petrographic microscope.The classification is based on evaluation of the relative prominence in a paleosol of six pedogenic features or processes: organic matter content, horizonation, redox conditions, in situ mineral alteration, illuviation of insoluble minerals/compounds, and accumulation of soluble minerals. The most prominent of these six features/processes provides the key to classifying a paleosol into one of nine orders. Four of the order names are borrowed from Soil Taxonomy (Histosol, Spodosol, Oxisol, Vertisol), whereas the other five order names are presented here for the first time (Calcisol, Gypsisol, Gleysol, Argillisol, Protosol). The orders may be preceded by one or more subordinate modifiers that describe other important features of the paleosol. The classification is relatively easy to apply to the rock record and should enhance communication and aid in the standardization of terminology

ISSN: 0016-7606
EISSN: 1943-2674
Serial Title: Geological Society of America Bulletin
Serial Volume: 105
Serial Issue: 2
Title: Classification of Paleosols
Affiliation: New Mexico State University, Department of Geological Sciences, Las Cruces, NM, United States
Pages: 129-136
Published: 199302
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 51
Accession Number: 1993-004124
Categories: Soils
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table
Secondary Affiliation: Ohio State University, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2019, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 1993
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