Royer (1999) has recently used a large data set from the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to reexamine the relationship between mean annual precipitation and depth to the calcic horizon in soils. The extremely poor correlation between these variables in his NRCS data (r2 = 0.03) stand in contrast to good correlations (which he has confirmed) in previously published data sets of Jenny (1941), Arkley (1963), and Retallack (1994: r2 = 0.56–0.64). As Royer indicates, his own correlation is virtually useless, but this does not mean that the others need be abandoned. Jenny (1941)...

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