Kamloops Black Chernozem

Soil Site Details: Kamloops Black Chernozem

Soils on this site are classified as Chernozems. Chernozems are often dark brown to blackish in colour due to organic matter accumulation. They are typical grassland soils.

Basic Facts

Soil Order: Chernozem
Ecosystem: Grassland
Climate Zone: Semi-arid
BC Biogeoclimatic Zone: Bunchgrass

Location: Lac du Bois Provincial Park
City, Region, Country: Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada
Lat / Long: 50.798333/ -120.435556

Soil Classification

Soil Order: Chernozem
Great Group: Black Chernozem
Subgroup: Orthic Black Chernozem
Soil Series: Mossey
Classification Code: O.BLC
Soil Horizons Present: Ah, Bm, Cca, Ck
Diagnostic Horizon 1: Chernozemic A
Diagnostic Horizon 2:
Diagnostic Horizon 3:
Diagnostic Horizon 4:

Land Form

Land Form: Glacial Till (blanket)
Parent Material: Basal till topped by sands and gravels; loess cap
Elevation (m): 950
Topography: Inclined
Affected by Glaciation: Yes


Climate Zone: Semi-arid
Mean Annual Temperature (C): 9
Minimum Annual Temperature (C): 3.3
Maximum Annual Temperature (C): 14.4
Mean Annual Precipitation (mm): 350

Land Use

Current Land Use: Rangeland
Original Vegetation: Rough fescue, Bluebunch wheatgrass, aspen
Current Vegetation: Bluebunch wheatgrass, kentucky bluegrass, needle-and-thread grass, junegrass, big sage

Technical Description
This soil at this high elevation grassland site is in the Chernozemic Order. Chernozemic soils have surface horizons darkened by the accumulation and decomposition of organic matter (mainly grasses and forbs). The diagnostic horizon is a Chernozemic A horizon thicker than 10 cm, that is reddish in colour and enriched with Fe/Al. It has a relatively low organic carbon content (0.5 – 5%). This soil was developed on a glacial till parent material (basal till topped by sands and gravels with a loess cap). The soil at this site falls into the Orthic Black Chernozem Subgroup, which may be thought of as the true Black soils. This site contains more organic matter than the Brown Chernozem site, due to cooler temperatures and increased moisture at higher elevations, resulting in the black colour. This soil is further classified under the Mossey Soil Series, which occur at elevation ranges from 750 to 1150 m. They are well drained and generally slightly stony.
PDF with details: 6_Mossey.pdf
Soil Morphology
Soil Texture of Diagnostic Horizon or Prevailing Texture: Loam
Soil texture horizons: Loam (Ah), Sand and silt (Cca), Sand (Ck)
Soil structure horizons: Granular (Ah)
Forest Humus Form:
Presence of Charcoal:
Presence of Coatings: Yes, carbonates
Soil Formation Processes
Primary Soil Process Group: Addition
Primary Soil Process: Organic matter accumulation
Secondary Soil Process: Translocation of carbonates


Chernozem, from https://processes.soilweb.ca/chernozem/.

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