Suborder

The suborder class is most often differentiated by soil moisture regimes and diagnostic horizons.

Table: Suborder names in Soil Taxonomy - formative elements and meaning.

 

Formative element

Derivation

Meaning or Connotation

alb

L. albus, white

Presence of an albic horizon

aqu

L. aqua, water

Characteristics associated with wetness

ar

L. arare, to plow

Mixed horizon

arg

L. argilla, white clay

Presence of an argillic horizon

bor

Gr. boreas, northern

Cool climate

calc

L. calcis, lime

Presence of a calcic horizon

camb

L. cambiare, to exchange

Presence of a cambic horizon

cry

Gr. kryos, cold

Cold climate

dur

L. duras, hard

Presence of a duripan

fibr

L. fibra, fiber

Least decomposed stage

fluv

L. fluvius, river

Flood plains

fol

L. folia, leaf

Mass of leaves

gyps

L. gypsum, gypsum

Presence of a gypsic horizon

hem

Gr. hemi, half

Intermediate state of decomposition

hist

Gr. histos, tissue

Organic soil material

hum

L. humus, earth

Presence of organic matter

ochr

Gr. base of ochros, pale

Presence of an ochric epipedon

orth

Gr. orthos, true

The common ones

plagg

Ger. Plaggen, sod

Presence of plaggen epipedons

per

L. perennis, all year

Perudic soil moisture regime

psamm

Gr. psammos, sand

Sand textures

rend

Polish Rendzina, limestone soil

Rendzinalike

sal

L. sal, salt

Presence of a salic horizon

sapr

Gr. sapros, rotten

Most decomposed stage

stat

Gr. statiskos, stationary

No congellipedoturbation

torr

Gr. torridus, hot, dry

Torric soil moisture regime

trop

Gr. tropikos, of the solstice

Continually warm

turb

L. turbidus, disturbed

Active congellipedoturbation

ud

L. udus, humid

Udic soil moisture regime

umbr

L. umbra, shade

Presence of an umbric epipedon

ust

L. ustus, burnt

Ustic soil moisture regime

vitr

L. vitrum, glass

Presence of glass

xer

Gr. xeros, dry

Xeric soil moisture regime

 

Each order has a limited number of choices at the Suborder level. Collegiate soil judgers have the advantage of being in a constrained geographic region. This likely restricts the choices at the Suborder level.

Alfisols

If the Order is Alfisol, then the choices of suborders are:

Aqualf (Aqu)

Cryalf (Cry)

Udalf (Ud)

Ustalf (Ust)

Xeralf (Xer)

Vertisols

If the Order is Vertisol then the choices are:

Cryert (Cry)

Aquert (Aqu)

Udert (Ud)

Ustert (Ust)

Xerert (Xer)

Torrert (Torr)

Andisols

Suborders of Andisols are defined by soil moisture and temperature regimes, and by water retention characteristics. The suborders also include a glassy component.

If the Order is Andisols then the choices are:

Aquand (Aqu)

Udand (Ud)

Ustand (Ust)

Xerand (Xer)

Torrand (Torr)

Vitrand (Vitr)

Cryand (Cry)

Geland (Gel)

 

 



Suborder

If the Order is Alfisol then the choices of suborders are Aqualf (Aqu), Cryalf (Cry), Udalf (Ud), Ustalf (Ust), or Xeralf (Xer). If the Order is Vertisol then the choices are Cryert (Cry), Aquert (Aqu), Udert (Ud), Usert (Ust), Xerert (Xer), or Torrert (Torr).

Table: Suborder names in Soil Taxonomy - formative elements and meaning.

 
Formative element Derivation Meaning or Connotation
alb L. albus, white Presence of an albic horizon
aqu L. aqua, water Characteristics associated with wetness
ar L. arare, to plow Mixed horizon
arg L. argilla, white clay Presence of an argillic horizon
bor Gr. boreas, northern Cool climate
calc L. calcis, lime Presence of a calcic horizon
camb L. cambiare, to exchange Presence of a cambic horizon
cry Gr. kryos, cold Cold climate
dur L. duras, hard Presence of a duripan
fibr L. fibra, fiber Least decomposed stage
fluv L. fluvius, river Flood plains
fol L. folia, leaf Mass of leaves
gyps L. gypsum, gypsum Presence of a gypsic horizon
hem Gr. hemi, half Intermediate state of decomposition
hist Gr. histos, tissue Organic soil material
hum L. humus, earth Presence of organic matter
ochr Gr. base of ochros, pale Presence of an ochric epipedon
orth Gr. orthos, true The common ones
plagg Ger. Plaggen, sod Presence of plaggen epipedons
per L. perennis, all year Perudic soil moisture regime
psamm Gr. psammos, sand Sand textures
rend Polish Rendzina, limestone soil Rendzinalike
sal L. sal, salt Presence of a salic horizon
sapr Gr. sapros, rotten Most decomposed stage
stat Gr. statiskos, stationary No congellipedoturbation
torr Gr. torridus, hot, dry Torric soil moisture regime
trop Gr. tropikos, of the solstice Continually warm
turb L. turbidus, disturbed Active congellipedoturbation
ud L. udus, humid Udic soil moisture regime
umbr L. umbra, shade Presence of an umbric epipedon
ust L. ustus, burnt Ustic soil moisture regime
vitr L. vitrum, glass Presence of glass
xer Gr. xeros, dry Xeric soil moisture regime