Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Published in Ecology, Vol. 3, No. 3 (Jul., 1922), pp. 237-249. Copyright 1922 Ecological Society of America. Used by permission.


During the excavation of root systems of native and crop plants through- out the Great Plains region during the past five years (Weaver, 1919,1920, 1922) contact has been made in more than thirty fields with the so-called hardpan. Such a layer of soil underlies much of this area of low rainfall, at depths varying from 15 inches to 3 feet. It varies from 8 inches to over 1.5 feet in thickness. In connection with studies on the physical and chemical composition of the soils and their seasonal water-content under natural and cropped conditions, a more detailed study has been made of the soil in this hardened layer. The major portion of this work was done at Burlington, Colorado, a station selected as being typically representative of High Plains conditions, but analyses of hardpan from Flagler, Colorado, and Colby, Kansas, were also made.