Vertosols are also known as cracking clay soils. Vertosols have more than 35% clay in all horizons. You can notice frequent cracks and slickensides (polished and grooved surfaces produced by one mass sliding past another).

Vertosols are heavy soils that are difficult to work and so they are more suited to grazing than cropping. Fertiliser and grazing management are the keys to retaining productive perennial grasses on these soils.


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  • 0cm: A horizon. Dark grey-brown clay loam over a light clay. Abundant plant roots, well drained, evidence of soil fauna. This horizon is porous.
  • 28cm: B horizon. Dark yellowish-brown medium clay. Cracks readily when dry, plant roots common, drainage fair
  • 66cm: B/C horizon. A dark yellowish brown and reddish brown heavy clay. Slickensides obvious below 70cm
  • A trace of charcoal was found at 85cm (burnt plant root from a hot fire?) Many plant roots, drainage poor

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