Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



E. H. Barbour, Report of the Geologist, Nebraska State Board of Agriculture, 1896.


Public domain.



The soil survey of the state, which was begun by the author in November of 1892, has progressed to the point where it might be considered finished. That is, one or more samples of soils have been taken from every distinct soil region in the state-in fact, most of the separate counties are represented, and mechanical analyses of many of these have already been made. However, in consideration of the size of our counties, the work will not be declared complete until each is represented in the state museum by soil prisms and by soil analyses.

Five distinct soil regions are recognizable, which agree with the botanical regions already laid down by the botanical survey. These are the Drift region, the Sand Hill region, the Bad Lands region, the Western region or Plains Marl region, and the Loess region. All the analyses made thus far show that Nebraska soils are peculiarly rich in sand and poor in clay.

Soil Regions. . . . The Absorption or Inhibition of Water. . . . Free Water or Ground Water. . . . Capillary Water. . . . Capillarity Assisted and Evaporation Cheoked. . . . Dust-Blanket as a Protection For Soil Moisture. . . . Hygroscopic Water. . . . The Absorption of Storm Waters. . . . Table Showing The Annual Precipitation -- Nebraska and Neighboring States. . . . Relation of Precipitation toThe Growing Season. . . . Table Showing The Monthly Precipitation in Nebraska. . . . Rainfall of The Growing Season in Various Localities. . . . The Importance of a Moist Soil. . . . The Water Needed by Growing Crops. . . . Windbreaks Protent Plant and Soil Moisture. . . . Our Annual Rainfall Not Increasing. . . . Summary of Mechanioal Analyses of Ten Subsoils of Nebraska. . .