Soil Resources of European Volcanic Systems


Audkuluheidi - August 1999

Date of description: 27-08-1999

Authors: A.G. Jongmans, F. van   Oort 
               and O. Arnalds

: Central North Iceland,

 About 400 m

GPS coordinates: x 5551000,
                              y 7251900

Classification:   Andosol

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Soil Climate; Cryic temperature regime, Udic moisture regime. Mean annual rainfall 800mm; mean annual temperature 1.0C, mild winter, frost 6-9 months in soil; snow cover 3-7 months

  Topography: Gently rolling
  Landform: Upland glacial plain
  Land element: Slope

Position: Bottom
  Slope: Nearly level
Micro topography : Hummocky area, hummocs 10-30 cm high and 0.5-2 m2 in size, but considerable variation in shape and sizes.
  Landuse/Vegetation: Communal grazing land for sheep; 80% vegetation cover. Heath with about 50% Rachomitrium moss, with Betula nana, Empetrum, Vaccinium heath and kobresia sp.; vegetation strongly influenced by land use.
    Human influences: 
  Parent material: Glacial moraine under 50-100cm thick aeolian and volcanic ash
  Effective soil depth: Moderately deep
   Erosion: Water and wind erosion, dominantly active in historical times.
  Drainage class: Well drained.  
  Internal drainage: Frost cracks on surface, rarely saturated; moderately hydraulic conductivity  


External drainage: Slow run-off


Moisture conditions: Moist


O:  3-0 cm; partially decomposed organic materials; abrupt and smooth to:
A1: 0-8/16 cm; 7.5 YR 3/3; sandy loam; moderate fine to medium platy ; friable; many fine to medium roots; from 12-16 cm irregular bright spots, 1 cm, 10YR 4/5; abrupt and wavy to:
A2: 8/16-19/24 cm 5YR 3/3; sandy loam; no macro structure; very friable; no pores detectable; common fine roots; abrupt and tonguing to:
Bw1:  19/24-23/31 cm; 7.5YR 4/4; sandy loam; no macro structure; very friable; few fine pores; common fine roots; abrupt and tounging to:
2Bw:  23/31-34/39 cm: 10YR 5/5; bright discontinuous tephra layer, slightly weathered; sandy loam; moderate fine platy structure; friable; common fine roots; occurrence of cryoturbation features, presence of material from the over- and under-laying horizons; abrupt and wavy to:
3Bw/4C: 34/39-56/59 cm; Bw 7.5YR 3/5; 30% 4C, glacial till material, 10YR 4/4; loam; few fine gravel, sub rounded, up to 3cm, slightly weathered; no macro structure; friable; few, fine roots; abrupt and smooth to:
4C:  >56/59 cm; glacial till; 10YR 4/4; sandy clay loam; fine gravel to boulders, sub rounded, partly weathered; layers of 2 cm consisting of 3Bw material, distributed inclined to the soil surface as a result of cryoturbation; no macro structure; friable; few fine roots in the upper 10 cm.

Last modified 13 May 2002 by EG