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Water table depths and soil temperatures were monitored for four growing seasons in six calcareous till pedons developed on gently rolling to level till plains in Corinth and Exeter, Maine. These soils are part of a new catena that supports potato production in southeastern Penobscot County. Three of these coarse-loamy to fine-loamy pedons are moderately well drained Oxyaquic Eutrudepts taxadjuncts in potato fields, and three are somewhat poorly drained Aquic Dystric Eutrudepts in predominantly deciduous forest. Soil morphology, hydrologic data, and a,a dipyridyl applications support the described subgroup classification of each pedon, along with the udic moisture regime. Despite a smooth, glaciated landscape that would suggest the presence of extensive lodgment till, five observation sites lacked a densic contact and one contained residuum (saprolite) in the substratum. Apparent water tables in the SPD very deep soils, as well as oxyaquic hydrology in the deep soils on 0 to 3 percent slopes, suggest the more permeable subglacial melt-out till predominating, rather than lodgment till in all of these pedons. Growing season concepts were compared based on frost-free season at 0 and -2.2° C thresholds, soil temperatures in the plow layer, soil temperature at 50 cms and well-water temperature. The commencement of the growing season in the spring did not differ much across all five concepts. However, in the fall there was a 4- to 8-week lag between the air or shallower soil-temperature growing-season concepts and the deeper soil or well-water-temperature growing-season concepts. Daytime air temperature during the first 2 years of monitoring differed significantly between spring and fall seasons, but not between field and forest sites within each season.
Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station
Maine soils, calcareous till, water table depths, soil temperatures
Turcotte, David E., Christopher C. Dorion, Nicholas R. Butler, and Ivan J. Fernandez. 2015. Seasonal water table and temperature relationships in calcareous till and residual soils of central Maine. Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station Miscellaneous Report 447.