This profile shows a Dermosol soil formed on a lower slope landscape. Dermosols on Tocal tend to:

  • be moderately well to imperfectly drained,
  • have gradational profiles with a structured B2 horizon,
  • have a deep humic topsoil which is acidic, and
  • be weakly weathered and weakly leached - pH increases with depth.

The deep humic topsoil is reflected in a high organic matter level for this profile. The strongly acid topsoil is associated with high aluminium levels and available phosphorus is concentrated in the topsoil. The potassium levels in Lucerne paddock are borderline as removal of Lucerne hay runs down soil stores of potassium.

These soils are highly productive if phosphorus levels are kept high. They lend themselves to pasture improvement due to their slight slope and the open nature of the landscape. They are among the most intensively-used soils for beef grazing at Tocal.


Profile description

  • 0cm: A horizon.Dark grey-brown clay loam. Hard setting surface soil. Friable and crumbly topsoil. Plant roots abundant. Drainage good. Note earthworm casts at 17cm. pH4.4
  • 20cm: B horizon.Very dark grey-brown sticky light clay. Plant roots and earthworms common. Soil friable and crumbly. Well drained. Angular blocky structure. Note earthworms channel at 35cm. pH5.4.
  • 70cm: IIA horizon.Colour and texture as above but not sticky. Fine crumb structure. Plant roots common. pH 5.8.
  • 90cm: IIB horizon. Dark grey-brown light medium clay. Texture friable and crumbly as above. Plant roots common. Drainage good. pH 5.8.

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