Soilscape Analysis of Contrasting Glacial

Terrains in Wisconsin


Randall J. Schaetzl


                        Two Woodfordian glaciated regions in Wisconsin were analyzed to determine the impact of variable loess thickness and contrasting till texture on soil pattern and landscape properties.  Each region consisted of a ground moraine/end moraine/outwash plain landform sequence.  Data were compiled from soil and topographic maps.  In addition to using standard methods of soilscape analysis, I used a natural soil drainage index, calculated from taxonomic data, to determine regional variability and pattern of soil wetness.  Results indicate that soilscape variation within each region was large.  There were no statistically significant differences, therefore, that could be attributed to known soil-forming processes or to parent material variability.  Stratifying the data by geomorphic subregion rather than by region reduced the within-unit soil variability and resulted in numerous significant soilscape differences between subregions.  The implication is that soilscape variability is large at the regional scale but converges rapidly with decreasing size of study area.