Agronomy and Horticulture, Department of


First Advisor

Keenan Amundsen

Second Advisor

Willian Kreuser

Date of this Version

Fall 12-1-2021


Obear, G.R. 2021. Formation of B Horizons in Engineered Putting Green Soils. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Agronomy and Horticulture (Soil and Water Sciences), Under the Supervision of Professors William Kreuser and Keenan Amundsen. Lincoln, Nebraska: November, 2021

Copyright © 2021 Glen R. Obear


Engineered turfgrass putting green soils are designed to drain quickly, while maintaining adequate water- and nutrient-holding capacity to sustain plant growth. These soils are designed to meet specific performance characteristics when they are constructed, but the process of soil formation changes these characteristics over time. Chapter 1 of this dissertation is a literature review of soil formation in engineered putting green soils. Pedogenesis of putting greens is such that A horizons form as organic matter accumulates near the surface, and B horizons form as particles and solutes are translocated to textural or pH boundaries in soil profiles. In the engineered soils of putting greens, the soil forming factors of climate, organisms, relief, and parent material are combined in unnatural ways, resulting in acceleration of the 5th soil forming factor – time. In Chapter 2, clay lamellae were observed in putting greens of a Mississippi, USA golf course. The lamellae formed inlayers, indicating that redox potential and biological processes are important factors in layer formation. Chapter 4 is an extension-focused guide about soil testing approaches for diagnosing layering issues for soil testing labs and agronomists. There remains very little research on soil layering issues in turfgrass systems, and this dissertation provides a framework for future characterization and experiments. Turfgrass soil problems have not traditionally been studied through the discipline of pedology, but a better understanding of how these soils form will lead to better recommendations for management.

Advisors: Keenan Amundsen and William Kreuser