Encyclopedia of Geoarchaeology

2017 Edition
| Editors: Allan S. Gilbert

Soil Stratigraphy

  • Vance T. Holliday
  • Rolfe D. Mandel
  • Timothy Beach
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4409-0_177

Introduction

Soil stratigraphy or pedostratigraphy is a way of grouping and correlating sediments and rocks based on soil-related, or pedogenic, criteria. This contrasts with lithostratigraphy (classification based on lithological characteristics such as color or grain size), chronostratigraphy (classification based on age of deposits or rocks), and biostratigraphy (classification based on biological characteristics such as pollen or vertebrate fauna) (see the entry on “ Stratigraphy” in this volume). It has been defined as “the study of different soil associations formed in an area during past periods of varied soil-forming conditions” Catt (1990, 169). Here, the term association refers to a group of related soils that vary laterally due to changes in soil-forming factors. This is a more generic use of the term compared to the soil-mapping parlance of the USDA (see the entry on “ Soil Survey” in this volume). The unique physical and chemical properties that distinguish soils from...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vance T. Holliday
    • 1
  • Rolfe D. Mandel
    • 2
  • Timothy Beach
    • 3
  1. 1.Anthropology and Departments GeosciencesUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA
  3. 3.Department of Geography and the EnvironmentThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA