A Soil Catena of Jones Mountain
Connor J Carman
Committee: Robert Hastings, JJ Apodaca, Steve Cartier
Slope and elevation control the physical and chemical differences in soils found on a particular hill or mountain. The objective of this study was to observe and record percent soil moisture, percent compaction, carbon and nitrogen levels and soil textural classes at different slope positions on Jones Mountain in Swannanoa, North Carolina. A transect line was placed along the north eastern ridge of the mountain and 10 quadrates measuring 40 by 40 feet were constructed along the transect line. The first quadrate was at the summit of Jones Mountain and the tenth and final quadrate was at the toe slope of the mountain. Each quadrate contained 6 sampling points for a total of 60 samples. This study showed an increase in soil moisture and compaction down slope. Carbon and Nitrogen levels generally stayed the same from the summit to the toe slope, and the ratio between Carbon and Nitrogen stayed at 20 parts Carbon to 1 part Nitrogen. In terms of soil textural classes, down slope sampling quadrates 8 through 10 showed high levels of clay, whereas sampling quadrates 1 through 7 were mostly characterized by more equal amounts of sand, silt and clay.