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A freely draining acid soil that develops in regions with a wet climate. The soil is wetted to its field capacity and water drains all the way to the groundwater, leaching out the soluble constituents of the soil. Water moving downwards removes aluminium (al) silicates (e.g. clays) and iron (fer) oxides from the soil (ped) and precipitates them 30–60 cm below ground level. The acidity of the water decreases as it moves downward, and alkaline earths and alkalis drain away from the soil completely. The process is known as podzolization and the resulting soil is a podzol. The geologist and soil scientist Prof. Curtis Fletcher Marbut (1863–1935) introduced the term in 1928 as part of a twofold division in his system of soil classification based on pedogenesis, with the intention of using the basic soil type used in mapping as the lowest category in classification. Whether this is possible is controversial, but the Marbut classification was adopted by the US Soil Survey, eventually to be replaced by the USDA Soil Taxonomy, and the term is still widely used. Compare pedocal.


Subjects: Ecology and Conservation.

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