Soils of the Pike Run Watershed

 The watershed is generally comprised of soils of the Dormont-Culleoka association. Soils of this classification are moderately to well drained, deep, gently sloping to very steep on hilltops, ridges, benches and hillsides. This association consists of hills with benches and ridges. The hills have long slopes that commonly have slips. Small streams that form drainage ways between hills drain most areas. "Slopes range from 3 to 50%. Dormont soils make up 40% of the association; 30% are Culleoka; and 30% are comprised of minor soils," (USDA). "Soils in areas of steep slopes are commonly shallow, poorly developed and drained, with low fertility and high erosion potential. Soils on less steep slopes and over unconsolidated sediments are commonly deep, well-drained and fertile" (USDA).
"Dormont soils are dominantly on the hillsides and benches and commonly have slips associated with them. The soils are deep and moderately well drained,"(USDA). They have a seasonal high water table with depths of 24-30 inches. They formed in a residuum of watershed shale, siltstone, limestone, and colluvium.
"Culleoka soils are mostly on the ridges and hilltops but some may be found on hillsides. The soils are moderately deep and well drained,"(USDA). They formed in a residuum of the watershed limestone, sandstone, siltstone, and shale.
The watershed consists of the following soil specifications in order of abundance:

1. Dormont-Culleoka silt loams This unit consists of moderate to steep slopes; deep, well-drained soils on upland slopes are 100 to 800 feet long. Dormont soils comprise 55% of the unit while Culleoka makes up 40% and 5% minor.

Typically, the surface and subsurface of Dormont soils are dark brown silt loam and have a thickness of 12 inches. The subsoil is 42 inches thick. The upper 15 inches is yellow-brown silt loams and silky clay loam. The lower 27 inches is mottled, yellowish-brown silty clay loam and channery, silty clay loam. The substratum is mottle brown silty clay to a depth of 78 inches.
The surface layer of the Culleoka soil is dark brown silt loam about 11 inches thick. The subsoil is yellowish-brown and 14 inches thick. The upper 10 inches is light silty clay loam and the lower 4 inches is shaly heavy silt loam. The substratum is yellowish- brown very shaly silt loam about 3 inches thick. Shale bedrock is at a depth of 28 inches.
These soils have slow permeability and high water capacity. Runoff is rapid and the hazard of erosion is severe. Reaction in unlined areas on the soil is mildly to strongly acidic to about 25 inches. The seasonal high water table is at a depth of 18 to 36 inches.
Most areas of these soils are used for pasture or are in woodland or brushland. Slope and the hazard of erosion make these soils unsuitable for cultivated crops and poorly suited for pasture. The prevention of overgrazing is a primary concern.
These soils are well suited for trees, and the potential for woodland is high. Slope limits the use of equipment and makes mechanical impractical. Slope, the seasonal water table in the Dormont soils, and bedrock depth in Culleoka is the main limitations of community development. Low strength in the Dormont soils is a hazard for roads and foundations.

2. Dormont soil loams These soils are deep and moderately well drained. Slope are 100-500 feet long, areas are on uplands and range from 2 to 150 acres.
These soils are used for cultivated crops. Low slopes areas are being the best suited. Contour strip-cropping and using minimum tillage, grassed waterways, cover crops and hay in the crop rotation help to reduce runoff and control erosion. Subsurface drains are needed to drain wet spots in some areas. Growing cover crops, returning crops residue to the soil, and using grasses and legumes in the cropping system help to maintain the organic matter in the soils.
These soils are well suited to pasture. The prevention of overgrazing is a major concern. The use of proper sticking rates to maintain key plant species; pasture rotation and periodic nutrient replenishment are main management practices. Restriction of usage during wet season helps to prevent compaction of the surface layer.
These soils are suitable for trees and potential for woodland is high. Machine planting is practical in larger areas but slope limits use on steep soils. Constructing roads on the contour of such areas helps to control erosion during timber harvests. The seasonal high water table and slow permeability of the soils limits community development, especially waste disposal. Low soil strength limits roadways and foundations.

3. Culleoka silt loams These soils are scarcely present in the watershed. They are drained and deep. Slopes are up to 600 feet in length.
The surface layer is dark brown and 11 inches thick. The subsoil is yellowish-brown and 14 inches thick. The upper 10 light silty clay loam and the bottom 4 are a shaly heavy silt loam. There is a 3-inch shaly silt substratum. The bedrock is at 28 inches.
These soils are suited to trees or pasture. They may also be used for community development. Most areas, however, are used for cultivated crops. (R. Vargo)