Kamloops Vertisol

Soil Site Details: Kamloops Vertisol

Soils on this site have Vertisolic characteristics. They have a high clay content and are thus considered heavy soils. They exhibit shrink-swell characteristics when water moves through the soil profile, causing unique mixing of the soil. The name Vertisol originated from the Latin word “verto” meaning ‘to turn’.

Basic Facts

Soil Order: Vertisol
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: 50.74194/ -120.551

Soil Classification

Soil Order: Vertisol
Great Group: Vertisol
Soil Series:
Classification Code:
Soil Horizons Present: Ah, Bv, Bss, Css
Diagnostic Horizon 1: Bv
Diagnostic Horizon 2: Bss
Diagnostic Horizon 3: Cv
Diagnostic Horizon 4: Css

Land Form

Land Form: Glacial till/lacustrine
Parent Material: Glacial till/basalt
Elevation (m): 600
Topography: Level
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): 270

Land Use

Current Land Use: Rangeland
Original Vegetation: Giant wildrye, foxtail barley, saltgrass, red glasswort, bluebunch wheatgrass, big sage
Current Vegetation: Giant wildrye, foxtail barley, saltgrass, red glasswort, bluebunch wheatgrass, big sage

Technical Description
The soil at this grassland site is in the Vertisolic Order. Vertisols are heavy textured soils (with �� 60% clay) with shrink-swell characteristics. They lack the horizon development diagnostic of other horizons due to dynamic mixing. The resulting horizons are often inverted of material, or can even be displaced along a crack resulting in a smooth polished surface called a slickenslide. Diagnostic characteristics of the Vertisols are vertic horizons (Bv, Cv) and/or slickenslide horizons (Bss, Css). This site has lacustrine parent material (derived from glacial till and basalt). The soil at this site falls into the Vertisol ��Great Group. The A horizon (<10 cm) can be difficult to distinguish from the B or C horizons. These soil textures range from clay loam to clay and are poorly drained. PDF with details: No further details
Soil Morphology
Soil Texture of Diagnostic Horizon or Prevailing Texture: Fine silt and clay
Soil texture horizons: >60% clay (Css)
Soil structure horizons: Fine granular (Ah), Angular blocky (Bv), Wedge shape (Bss), Massive (Css)
Forest Humus Form:
Presence of Charcoal:
Presence of Coatings:
Soil Formation Processes
Primary Soil Process Group: Translocation
Primary Soil Process: Movement of material by clay shrink and swell
Secondary Soil Process: Losses-leaching of Ca,Mg


Vertisol, from https://processes.soilweb.ca/vertisol/.

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