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s'morestashe

Another Nature MB question

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Hi,

You all were very helpful with the last question about birds. He is working on the soils and rocks portion now. He collected and ID'd the five dif rocks, but is confused about collecting/IDing soils found in dif layers of a soil profile. He can easily do the top two layers, but how is he to get the deeper layers?

 

Thank you.

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I guess this depends on locality. In some places those layers are thin; others, very thick. Or, that layer of clay can be surprisingly hard.

I don't know if we can generalize to rocks, but this is why geologists love road cuttings. The digging has already been done c/o the taxpayer!

He may need to discuss this with his MB counselor to find out the best way to do this in your area.

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Hi,

You all were very helpful with the last question about birds. He is working on the soils and rocks portion now. He collected and ID'd the five dif rocks, but is confused about collecting/IDing soils found in dif layers of a soil profile. He can easily do the top two layers, but how is he to get the deeper layers?

 

Thank you.

 

River or creek beds. Best place to find the strata. Make sure you go when it is VERY dry and no rain forecast upstream.

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This varies from one location to the next.  I live in an area covered with top soil/vegetative mulch, then sand then more sand and after that more sand.  The river bottoms do not make a good sample areas.  So the river cuts through sandstone, from where the sand came from and it does have a mix of limestone in it, but that's about it.  Other areas to the east of us have bedrock quartzite and other interesting rocks but for the most part the rocks that wash in are variable and interesting, but any strata sampling is pretty weak.

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This varies from one location to the next.  I live in an area covered with top soil/vegetative mulch, then sand then more sand and after that more sand.  The river bottoms do not make a good sample areas.  So the river cuts through sandstone, from where the sand came from and it does have a mix of limestone in it, but that's about it.  Other areas to the east of us have bedrock quartzite and other interesting rocks but for the most part the rocks that wash in are variable and interesting, but any strata sampling is pretty weak.

 

The requirement only says, "Collect and identify soils found in different layers of a soil profile." Doesn't say you need to go to Moab and become a strata expert. ;)

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Top soil and sand isn't a very interesting option for the MB.  :)

 

The only thing less interesting would be the Sahara.

Edited by Stosh

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If this were at summer camp, chances are fair to good that the nature lodge wold have just the right tool for that - a soil boring tool.

 

But it's not so what is the work around - do you have any homes or buildings being built near you where the basement has just been dug?  You might be able to get a look before they poor the slab and foundation walls.  Do you have any active quaries near you?  Give them a call - I find that if you're polite to them they're often more than happy to show off to a Scout.  Do you have a community college or a university with geology classes?  Get in touch with them.  Know someone with a post hole digger?  Borrow it and every chunk of earth taken out, line it up - one after another - not in a pli - that way you can create a horizontal strata.

 

Just some thoughts off the top of my head.

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Post hole diggers will do the job. However, like others have said, it really depends on where you are. Around here poor land management caused nearly all of the top soil to be lost over 100 years ago. All that's left is a shallow layer of leaf litter and a little organic soil and a whole lot of B horizon or even worse. You'd have to go to a nature preserve to find something that approximates what was here prior to when the Europeans swarmed over the continent.

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Check with your local State Extension Service.  Soil Conservation District.     You can even find maps that have the different soil types named and defined, maps of delineated aquifers,  erosion control areas, soil horizon for a given area.    Here's Marylands:  http://mda.maryland.gov/resource_conservation/Pages/technical_assistance.aspx

 

Each Extension Service is usually under the State University:   http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/soils/soil-testing

 

Get down and get dirty! 

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