Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Eddy Series--Our Terrain

Our youngest came home for a visit over spring break.  He is currently enrolled in a soils class at Stephen F. Austin State University--Axe 'Em Jacks!!  This is his last semester [please pray for good grades]--and we're loving that!!  We are also loving the fact that Matt has to collect and analyze some soil samples as a requirement for this class.  When he mentioned this way back in January, my first question was:  "How deep?"  Turns out he needed to go three feet deep. 
My son Matt collecting soil samples for class.  Notice the depth
of the hole.  Notice the tool.  When I say rock, I mean rock!!

I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story, but first here is a little research about our soil:

  • We live on the west side of I-35 in southern McLennan County.  Our area is known as the "Eddy Series" which consists of shallow to very shallow, well drained, moderately permeable soils.  Yes it does!
  • Taxonomy class is loamy-skeletal, carbonatic, thermic, shallow.  Hmmm...there is a familiar ring to this analysis. 
  • Our soil ranges from brownish gray to dark grayish brown in color.  Check. 
  • The depth of our soil ranges from 3 to 14 inches thick over chalky limestone.  Yes, we found this out when we rented the ditch witch to dig an electrical trench.  A job that should have taken 20 to 40 minutes took 3 hours.  I wish I was kidding.
  • The whole soil contains 35 to 50% chalky limestone fragments by volume.  Yes it does!
  • The fragments range from very weakly cemented to strongly cemented.  Agreed.
  • I could go on....but I won't.  We have very rocky soil out here!

Plan B--bring out rock bar.  Plan C--"Do you think we can
rent a jack-hammer?"  We would have, but it was Sunday!

While Matt picked and dug at the soil, I stood by with my camera to get a picture of the action!  Pictures are a part of the assignment, too.  I helped some by removing rock from the soil he would replace in the hole.  This took about 2 to 3 hours. 

"Yeah....I think I hit bottom!!!" says Matt.
Finally, Matt asked me to take a few specific pictures to send to the professor.  At that point he was only about 18" deep and had decidedly gone as far as he could without a jack hammer.  Yep, the rock wasn't budging.  And as Matt chipped away at it, there was even more white chalk underneath. 

Monday morning Matt was delighted to hear that his professor could see "3 horizons" so he had actually dug deep enough.  Yes!!!

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, gotta love the soil (rocks) we have around here. I wish I had one of those pick axes! That would come in handy in our yard, too!