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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1969. Department of Agronomy.


Copyright 1969, the author. Used by permission.


The Soil Survey Investigations Branch of the Soil Conservation Service has conducted a coordinated study of the landscape and soils in a desert area of southern New Mexico since 1957.The purposes of the study were to delineate the kinds of land forms and soils in the area and to determine their origin in terms of the physiographic history of the region.This study has been termed the Desert Project.

Within the framework for this project, a soil profile was selected for a detailed study of mineral weathering.This soil (Terino) formed on the Dona Ana geomorphic surface which is the oldest surface delineated in the Desert Project.In Ice Canyon, the location of the Terino profile, the Dona Ana geomorphic surface is composed of alluvial fan sediments derived from Soledad Rhyolite.The Terino profile formed in these sediments is classified as a Typic Petrocalcic Paleargid according to the U.S.D.A. soil classification system (7th Approximation).

The Terino profile was selected for study because it exhibits certain morphological characteristics that appear to be unique to a desert environment.The Terino profile is through to have formed in place from alluvial fan sediments derived from Soledad Rhyolite.The profile contains a well-developed argillic horizon suggestive of greater clay formation and illuviation than would be expected in an arid climate. There is no carbonate evident in the surface 23 inches of the profile.Below a depth of 23 inches, however, abundant carbonate is present.A laminar zone is evident at 25 inches and below within the zone of carbonate accumulation.Voids in the mineral material composing the laminar zone are plugged with material high in calcium carbonate.The purpose of this investigation is to compare the mineralogy of the Soledad Rhyolite rock with mineral constituents in the soil profile to evaluate mineral weathering and soil development during the genesis of the Terino profile.

Advisor: James V. Drew