|Introduction||Physical Setting||Methods||Results||Conclusions||Future Study||Proximity Map|
|Aerial Photo||Digital Elevation Map||Photo Essay||Chippewa Watershed||Who We Are||Acknowledgements||References|
Who We Are
In the first several weeks of the Fall 2002 semester, our Soils class spent lab time at the Hubbard site in north-eastern Pepin County, Wisconsin. The Hubbard site landscape includes a gradual slope located on the southern banks of the Chippewa River floodplain. The slope is greater than 4 percent. A small stream terrace is located along the Western boundary of the Hubbard Site.
The class was divided into groups of three to four students, and each group was assigned an area in which to dig a soil pit. This website is a compilation of the results of that fieldwork and additional research. The purpose of this website is to present the results of our research to determine the genesis of the soils in the study area, and to provide the landowner with recommendations for suitable land uses based on the knowledge we have gained about soils on his or her property.
Eight pits were excavated. Pits were excavated in representative landscape positions with respect to slope aspect and position. This allowed us to gain an understanding of how landscape position influences soil development. Each group of students studied the soil profiles exposed in their pits and described and recorded their findings. The pits were also photographed. Information gathered in the field includes depth, color, structure, consistence, boundary, and other phenomena present for each master horizon.
The soils across the site are sandy and appear to be derived from glaciofluvial outwash. Evidence that the upland portion of this site was used for farming is found in the pits located on level portions of the site (Ap horizon, or plow zone). This evidence is confirmed by current land-use in the surrounding area. Elsewhere, on less level and poorly drained areas, the site is wooded. Climate, natural vegetation, and other soil forming factors are fairly consistent across the study area. The bedrock in Pepin County is pre-cambrian granite units dating back approximately 4.6 billion years. Above the granite, lies cambrian sedimentary rock deposited by ancient seas. Lying above this bedrock unit is the Wonewoc, Eau Claire, and Mt. Simon sandstone formations. During the past 9,500 years sediment has continually been deposited on the floor of the floodplain. The major factor contributing to variability in soil characteristics is slope and position on the landscape.
Soils in the lowland portions of the site are distinguishable from soils on the upland and gradual sloping portions of the site. Pit 1, located in a wooded area, contained Hoopeston Series soils (438A), which are deep and sandy. They are moderately well drained to somewhat poorly drained soils on stream terraces, with loamy alluvium over sandy outwash. These soils belong to the Brunizem great soil group, and are found on the lower parts of broad terraces along the Chippewa and Mississippi Rivers. Pits 1, 2, and 4 are most similar to the Farrington loamy sand (508A) description in the Pepin County Soil Survey. All of these pit areas were at the toe of the slope with gentle 0 to 3 percent slopes, and are near a swamp filled area. Pits 2 and 3 were found to be loamy sand, while pit 4 was determined to be sandy loam. These pits had the following in common: valley trains, treads, poorly drained soil, high water table, and major uses to include cropland and forest land. All soils observed in pits (6, 7, 8, and 9) located on 0 to 3 percent slopes fit the Finchford Series loamy sand (501A) soil description in the most current edition of the Pepin County Soil Survey. These pits are located mid to upper slope, with pit 9 being the uppermost pit on the slope, in an abandoned corn field used for cultivation as recently as the previous growing season.
The most significant factors in terms of land use are slope characteristics and a seasonally high water table in the lower portion of the study area (especially near the stream). The sandy texture of these soils make the area susceptible to wind and water erosion. Thin autochthonous glacial outwash in the upland and sloping portions of the study area already exhibit erosional characteristics. Consequently, soils in the lowland areas are thickened, suggesting materials have eroded down from upslope and accumulated at the bottom.
Much can be done with soils in the upland portion of the site. The sloping portions of the area are more susceptible to erosion, and should probably not be disturbed. The lowland area also has many possibilities for land use, but structures with basements should not be constructed because of shallow bedrock and seasonally high water table. If construction is to occur on any portion of the study area, soil berms should be in place, and vegetative buffers should be left.
Mitigation against future soil erosion is suggested for this study area. Soils in this area may be moderately fertile and suitable for cultivation, especially in the upland regions. Zero-tillage and contour plowing should be implemented if sustainable cultivation is to be performed. Soils in this area are best suited for “low impact” activities such as pasture or recreation areas.
Contributed by Group 3: Chris Drabandt, Lori Hafeman, LeRoy Molitor, and Melissa Peterson
Our goal is to make
recommendations for appropriate land uses based on the soil morphology we
observed at the Hubbard Site. This site was bought from a private owner
from The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as part of the
State Natural Areas Program. Therefore, it is important to have an
understanding of the land applications that can or cannot be used on
this site as to further protect the area. The Hubbard Site was accessible
for this research because University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is leasing the property for research
1) Characterize the catenary relationship between soil profiles across the study site.
A. Select eight (8) pedons at representative landscape positions
B. Describe the soil profiles, including the depth, color, structure, consistence, boundary, and other phenomena for each master horizon
C. Photograph the described profile face of each pit
2) Determine factors that have contributed to soil genesis, using the descriptions of site profiles and existing map units.
3) Make interpretations about landscape history and evolution, using the CLORPT model and our understanding of catenary relationships.
4) Make recommendations for appropriate land uses by identifying limiting soil, geomorphic and climatic factors, and including specific recommendations for:
A. Native Prairie, Grasses and Terrestrial Life
B. Wetland Mitigation or Restoration and Migratory Waterfowl Habitat
C. Outdoor Recreation
E. Residential Development
F. Commercial and Industrial Development
G. Construction and Fill
H. Trees and Shrubs Suitable for Planting
Contributed by Group 2: Erin Heidtke, Julie Sowka, and Rebecca Thorn