A soil development index has been developed in order to quantitatively measure the degree of soil profile development. This index, which combines eight soil field properties with soil thickness, is designed from field descriptions of the Merced River chronosequence in central California. These eight properties are: clay films, texture plus wet consistence, rubification (color hue and chroma), structure, dry consistence, moist consistence, color value, and pH. Other properties described in the field can be added when more soils are studied. Most of the properties change systematically within the 3 m.y. age span of the Merced River chronosequence. The absence of properties on occasion does not significantly affect the index. Individual quantified field properties, as well as the integrated index, are examined and compared as functions of soil depth and age. ?? 1982.
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A quantitative index of soil development from field descriptions: Examples from a chronosequence in central California