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International Journal of Soil Science
  Year: 2011 | Volume: 6 | Issue: 2 | Page No.: 103-113
DOI: 10.3923/ijss.2011.103.113
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Evaluation of Soil Colors as Indicators of the Seasonal High Water Table in Coastal North Carolina

C.P. Humphrey Jr and M.A. O`Driscoll

On-site wastewater system drainfield trenches must be installed in aerated soil to effectively treat wastewater pollutants. Low chroma (2 or less) soil colors are used as indicators of the seasonal high water table when land is evaluated for determining the installation depth of on-site system drainfield trenches. The study objective was to evaluate how closely low chroma soil colors aligned with measured seasonal high water tables. Soil profile descriptions were performed on 16 sites with 6 different soil series in coastal North Carolina and the depth to low chroma colors was recorded. Groundwater wells were installed at the sites and equipped with automated water level loggers. Water table monitoring was used to determine the depth of the 14-day seasonal high water table between December 2006 and January 2008. The depth to low chroma soil colors and measured seasonal high water table were compared. Results showed that low chroma colors were within 22 cm of the high water table for 75% of sites in sandy loam and sandy clay loam soils, but only 25% of sites in sandy soils. Soil colors were more accurate indicators of the water table on the mainland in relation to barrier islands. More than half (6 of 11) of mainland soils had seasonal high water tables an average of 18 cm closer to the surface than low chroma colors. To help ensure on-site system trenches actually maintain their required separation distance to water table, an increase in separation to low chroma colors is suggested.
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How to cite this article:

C.P. Humphrey Jr and M.A. O`Driscoll, 2011. Evaluation of Soil Colors as Indicators of the Seasonal High Water Table in Coastal North Carolina. International Journal of Soil Science, 6: 103-113.

DOI: 10.3923/ijss.2011.103.113






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