Canada - Alberta Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture Agreement (CAESA): Soil Inventory Project Procedures Manual - Data Dictionary

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 Land systems data capture | Soil landscape data capture

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The purpose of this section is to describe the field definitions and data capture rules in detail and to provide the data tables of allowable attribute codes. The attributes collected for Land Systems and Soil Landscape compilation is described in detail in the following sections.
Land Systems Data Capture

The Land Systems data is captured on the Land Systems Data Form.
Land system number
Land Systems are numbered to show the hierarchical classification of ecoregion, ecodistrict (LRA) and land system. The LRA (Ecodistricts) map is illustrated (Figure 4.1) and the legend is presented in Table 4.1. The Land System number has the following notation:

Field Definition:

Land System Number16.4b.03
  •  Enter the land system number as provided in the above example, where:
      16 = Ecoregion
      = Ecodistrict (LRA)
      = Land System number
Attribute Coding Rules:
  • The Land System number is a concatenation of Ecoregion, Ecodistrict and the Land System Number.
  • This number will start at 1 for each Ecodistrict and end at the appropriate number of Land Systems in that given Ecodistrict.
  • Land System numbers are unique but a Land System can be composed of more than one polygon (Figure 4.2).
  • River valleys will break at the Ecoregion but will cross Ecodistricts and will be coded with a 00 (example 16.00.1).

Figure 4.1  Ecodistricts of Alberta (Pettapiece pers. Comm. 1993)

Figure 4.2  Land System map illustrating Land Systems in two Ecoregions (05 and 06), and a Land System (06.2a.01) with two polygons.

Analyst name and date

Attribute Coding Rules:
  • enter the analyst name and date (year/month/day)
Table 4.1 Ecodistricts Legend (Ecological Stratification Working Group 1995).
Ecodistrict SymbolEcodistrict NameLandformTextureSoilsAgroclimate
01.1Wild HorseH-UCL-SLBR-SS3A
01.2bPurple SpringsUSL(S)BR3A
01.3bBow CityUL to CLSS-BR3A
01.3cBerry CreekUL to CLSS(BR)3A
01.3dSounding CreekUSL-LSS(BR,DB)?3A
01.4bSchulerH-UL to CLBR3A
01.4cRainy HillsH(U)L(SL)BR3A
01.4dOyenH(U)L to CLBR(DB)3A(2A)
02.1dMajorvilleHL to CLDB2A
02.2bWintering HillsH(U)L to CLDB(BL)2AH
02.2cEndiangH(U)L to CL(SL)DB2AH
02.3aCastorU(L)L to CLSS(DB)2AH
02.3bSullivan LakeUSL-LSS(DB)2AH
02.4aNeutral HillsH(S,U)L-CLDB2AH
02.5Milk RiverH(U)CL(SL)DB2AH
03.0bMcalpineU-HL to CLDB2A

Table 4.1 Continued.
Ecodistrict SymbolEcodistrict NameLandformTextureSoilsAgroclimate
04.1bDel BonitaH-USiL-CLBL2AH
04.1cTwin ButteM-SL to CLBL4H
04.1dWillow CreekM-SL to CLBL4H
05.1Black DiamondM(U)L to CLBL-DG4H(3H)
05.3aOldsU(M)L to CLBL3H
05.3bRed DeerU(H)L to CL(C,S)BL-DG3H
05.3cPine LakeH(M,U)L to CLBL(DG)3H
05.4aDayslandUL to CLSS-BL2AH
05.4bBashawH(U)L to CLBL2AH
05.5aSedgewickUL to CLBL(DB)2AH
05.5bAndrewUL to CLBL(SS)2AH
05.5cLloydminsterU(H)L to CLBL2AH
05.5dVermilionH(U,M)L to CLBL2AH
05.6Cooking LakeHL to CLGL-DG3H
06.1bRimbeyH-UL to CLGL-DG3H
06.1dLac Ste AnneH(U)SiL-CLGL(DG,O)3H
06.2bElk PointU(H)CLDG(BL,GL)3H
06.2cAthabascaU(L)L to CL(S,C)GL(DG,O)3H(4H)
06.2dBonnyvilleU(H)L to CL(SL)GL(DG)3H
06.2gFrog LakeH(U)CLGL(O)4H
07.1aGrande PrairieL(U)CBL-SO(DG)2H

Table 4.1 Continued.
Ecodistrict SymbolEcodistrict NameLandformTextureSoilsAgroclimate
07.3cHigh LevelL(U)C-L(O)GL(SO,O)3H(4H)
08.1eHart LakeU(H)O-S(L)O-BD(GL)4H
08.2dStony MtnM-USL(S,O,CL)GL(O,BD)4H
08.2eCrow LakeUO-SLO-GL4H
08.3aCross LakeH(U)CL(O,SL)GL(O)4H
08.3eHeart RiverH(U)CL(O,SL)GL(O)4H

Table 4.1 Continued.
Ecodistrict SymbolEcodistrict NameLandformTextureSoilsAgroclimate
08.4cNorth BirchU(M)O(CL)O(GL)5H
08.5aBuffalo HeadH(M,U)CL(O)GL(O)5H(4H)
09.1aHay RiverL(U)C-O(CL)GL-O(GY)4H
09.1bYates RiverLO(SiC)O(GL)4H
09.1cBuffalo RiverU(H)O-CLO-GL,BD4H
09.2Rainbow LakeUCL-OGL-O4H
10.1aWabascaL-UO-S(CL)O-BE,GL4H (3H)
10.1cLoon LakeL(U)SiC-O(CL)GL-O,CY4H (3H)
10.2bSalt RiverL-UCL-SGY-BE(SAL)4H
10.2cKnight CreekU(R)S-OBD-O4H
10.2dFox LakeUO-SO-BD(GL,GY)4H
10.2eBirch FansU-LCL(C)GY(GL,O)4H
11.1bCaribou SlopeH(S)CLGL4H
11.2aCameron HillsU(L,M)O(CL)O(GL,BD)5H
11.2bCameron SlopeUCL(O)GL(O)4H
12.0aRichardson HillsHS(O)BD(O)5H
12.0bHarrison RiverUO-SO-BD5H
13.0Tazin RiverH(U,M)ROCK-(S)ROCK(BD)5H

Table 4.1 Concluded.
Ecodistrict SymbolEcodistrict NameLandformTextureSoilsAgroclimate
15.2aBragg CreekM-SL(S)DG-BE5H
15.2bRam RiverM-SLGL5H
15.3cWolf LakeH(S)CL-LGL5H
15.4aSwan HillsS-MCLGL5H
15.6cClear HillsH(S)CL(O)GL(O)5H

Soil correlation area

The Soil Correlation Area (SCA) to which the Land System belongs for naming soils is identified by the SCA number (1 to 24) as defined in Alberta Soil Names, Generation 2 Users' Handbook (Alberta Soil Series Working Group 1993).

Field Definition:

Attribute Coding Rules:
  • Enter the SCA number
    Land system name
Land System names consist of two parts; a geographic locator and a morphological descriptor (e.g. Chin Coulee or Stettler Plain).

Field Definition:

Land System NameChinCoulee

Attribute Coding Rules:
Step 1)
Enter a Land System name that reflects a local geographic location.

Step 2)
Select a morphological descriptor from Table 4.2 .
If a morphological descriptor did not exist, the user added a new descriptor.
  • Names are not unique across the province.
Table 4.2 List of Morphological Descriptors (Bates and Jackson 1980).
basin a. A depressed area with no surface outlet.
b. A low area in the earth's crust where sediments have accumulated.
benchA long, narrow, relatively level or gently inclined strip or platform of land, earth or rock, bounded by steeper slopes above and below and formed by differential erosion of rocks of varying resistance or by a change of base level erosion; a small terrace or step like ledge breaking the continuity of a slope; an eroded bedrock surface between valley walls.
bottomland Low-lying, level land, usually highly fertile (the term signifies a grassy lowland formed by the deposition of alluvium along the margin of a watercourse; an alluvial plain or a flood plain; the floor of a valley.
couleeA dry or intermittent stream valley, gulch or wash of considerable extent; esp. a long steep-walled, trench like gorge or valley representing an abandoned overflow channel that temporarily carried meltwater from an ice sheet.
escarpment a. A long, more or less continuous cliff or relatively steep slope facing in one general direction, breaking the continuity of the land by separating two level or gently sloping surfaces and produced by erosion or by faulting.
b. A steep, abrupt face of rock, often presented by the highest strata in a line of cliffs and generally marking the outcrop of a resistant layer.
deltaThe low, nearly flat, alluvial tract of land at or near the mouth of a river, commonly forming a triangle or fan shaped plain of considerable area.
dunefieldDescriptive of an area with numerous low hills or banks of drifted (wind-borne) sand.
hill(s)a. A natural elevation of the land surface, rising rather prominently above the surrounding land, usually of limited extent and having a well defined outline (rounded rather than peaked or rugged) and generally considered to be less than 300m from base to summit; the distinction between hill and mountain is arbitrary and dependent upon local usage.
b. Any slightly elevated ground or other conspicuous elevation in an area of rugged relief.
c. An eminence of inferior elevation in an area of rugged relief. (d) A range or group of hills, or a region.
lowlanda. A general term for low-lying land or an extensive region of low land.
b. The low and relatively level ground of a region, in contrast with the adjacent higher country.
c. A low or level tract of land along a watercourse.
pediment Gently inclined plannate erosional surface generally veneered with fluvial gravels.
plainAny flat area, large or small, at a low elevation; specif. an extensive region of comparatively smooth and level or gently undulating land, having few or no prominent surface irregularities but sometimes having a considerable slope, and usually at a low elevation with reference to surrounding areas. A plain may be forested or bare of trees, and may be formed by deposition or by erosion.
plateau Any comparatively flat area of great extent and elevation; specif. an extensive land region elevated (more than 150-300m) above the adjacent country; it is commonly limited on at least one side by an abrupt descent, has a flat or nearly smooth surface but is often dissected by deep valleys and surmounted by high hills or mountains, and has a large part of its total surface at or near the summit level. A plateau is usually higher and has more noticeable relief than a plain.
uplanda. A general term for high land or an extensive region of high land.
b. The higher ground of a region, in contrast with a valley, plain, or other low lying land; a plateau.
c. The elevated land above the low areas along a stream or between hills; any elevated region from which rivers gather drainage.
valleya. Any low-lying land bordered by higher ground.
b. A broad area of generalized flat land extending inland for a considerable distance, drained or watered by a large river and its tributaries (example Mississippi Valley).

Surficial geology
The surficial geology of the Land System is identified using the legend modified from Shetsen (1987; 1990) (Table 4.3) which identifies age, mode of deposition, materials and surface form, and relief.

Field Definition:
Surficial Geology:1)2a2)43) 

Attribute Coding Rules:
  • Enter up to 3 allowable codes as described in Table 4.3.
  • List codes in order of dominance.
Table 4.3. Surficial Geology Legend (Shetsen 1987;1990).
Pleistocene and Holocene, undivided
[0] ORGANIC Woody, fibrous and mucky peat; up to 7 m thick; present in bogs, fens, swamps and marshes; generally flat topography.
[1] EOLIAN Fine and medium-grained sand and silt; up to 7 m thick; longitudinal and parabolic dunes scoured by blowouts; undulating to rolling topography.
[2] LACUSTRINE Sand, silt and clay, with local ice-rafted stones; up to 80 m thick; deposited mainly in proglacial lakes, but includes also undifferentiated recent lake sediment; flat to gently undulating topography.
[2a]Coarse sediment; sand and silt; undulating surface in places modified by wind.
[2b]Fine sediment; silt and clay; flat to gently undulating surface.
[3] FLUVIAL Gravel, sand, silt and clay, includes local till and bedrock exposures; up to 20 m thick; present on floors and terraces of river valleys and meltwater channels, and in deltas; flat to undulating topography.
[3a] Coarse sediment; gravel, gravel and sand, fine to coarse-grained sand, minor silt beds.
[3b] Fine sediment; fine sand, silt and clay, minor gravel beds.
[4] STREAM AND SLOPEWASH ERODED Exposed till and bedrock, local slump material; slopes of river valleys and meltwater channels, in places badland type terrain.
[5] CRYOTURBATED EOLIAN (LOESS) AND FLUVIALMixed fine sand, silt and gravel, local clay; up to 3 m thick; overlies preglacial gravel and sand on the unglaciated Cypress Hills and Del Bonita uplands; flat to gently undulating topography.

Sand, silt and clay, local till; up to 20 m thick; deposited in supraglacial and ice-walled lakes or in proglacial lakes floored by ice; undulating to hummocky topography.
[6a]Coarse sediment: sand and silt.
[6b] Fine sediment: silt and clay.

Gravel, sand, silt and clay, local till; up to 25 m thick; deposited in ice-walled and supraglacial streams, or in ice-front fans and deltas; undulating to hummocky topography.
[7a]Coarse sediment: gravel, gravel and sand, fine to coarse-grained sand.
[7b] Fine sediment: fine sand, silt and clay.
[8] ICE-CONTACT LACUSTRINE AND FLUVIAL, UNDIVIDEDGravel, sand, silt and clay, local till; up to 25 m thick; deposited in intermittent supraglacial lakes and streams; or at margins of ice-floored proglacial lakes; undulating to hummocky topography.
GLACIAL ([9] through [12a]) Till consisting of unsorted mixture of clay, silt and gravel, with local water-sorted material and bedrock; the thickness is generally less than 25 m on uplands, but may reach as much as 100 m in buried valleys; flat, undulating, hummocky or ridged topography.
[9] DRAPED MORAINETill of even thickness, with minor amounts of water-sorted material and local bedrock exposures; up to 10 m thick; includes local areas of undifferentiated subglacially moulded deposit with streamlined features; flat to undulating surface reflecting topography of underlying bedrock and other deposits.
[10] STAGNATION MORAINETill of uneven thickness, local water-sorted material; up to 30 m thick; undulating to hummocky topography reflecting variations in till thickness.
[10a]Undulating topography, with local relief generally less than 3 m.
[10b]Hummocky topography moderately to weakly developed, with irregularly shaped and poorly defined knobs and kettles; local relief 3 to 10 m.
[10c]Hummocky topography strongly developed, with generally round, well defined knobs, dimpled knobs, doughnut-shaped hills and kettles; local relief 5 to 20 m.
[10d] Mixed hummocky and moraine plateau topography: flat-topped irregularly shaped hills with a cover of stratified sand, silt, and clay, interspersed with mounds composed of till, local relief 5 to 20 m.
[11] RIDGED END MORAINETill, gravel and silt; deposited in ridges at or near a glacier margin; up to 15 m thick; typically forms a series of subparallel ridges.
Mixed and contorted bedrock, till and water-sorted material that have been translocated by ice in a more-or-less intact state as thrust blocks, or deformed into thrust slabs and folds; up to 100 m thick topography consists of ridges, irregularly shaped hills and depressions.
[12a] ICE-THRUST AND STAGNATION MORAINE, UNDIVIDEDBedrock, till, local water-sorted material; up to 50 m thick rolling to hummocky topography.
[13] GLACIAL AND FLUVIALMixed till, sand, silt and gravel, local bedrock exposures; flat to hummocky topography.
[13a] Draped moraine interspersed with fluvial deposit; up to 5 m thick; flat to undulating topography.
[13b] Stagnation moraine interspersed with fluvial deposit; the thickness unknown; rolling to hummocky topography locally strongly modified by stream erosion.
Cretaceous, Tertiary and Pleistocene, undivided
BEDROCK AND GLACIAL, UNDIVIDEDBedrock, discontinuous till, slump material, minor sand and gravel; flat, undulating, hummocky and ridged topography.
[14a]Draped moraine on bedrock uplands and plains: discontinuous till over bedrock surface slightly modified by ice and stream erosion; till is generally less than 3 m thick; flat to undulating topography.
[14b]Stagnation moraine on bedrock uplands: discontinuous till over bedrock surface strongly modified by ice and stream erosion, till is up to 10 m thick; hummocky to ridged topography.
Late Tertiary and early Pleistocene
[15] FLUVIAL Gravel and sand, minor silt beds; found overlying bedrock in upland areas, but generally covered by loess or till, and exposed only along crests of the upland slopes.
Cretaceous and Tertiary, undivided
[16] BEDROCKSandstone, siltstone, mudstone, and shale, minor ironstone, limestone and coal beds; includes slump material;
[16a]Unglaciated bedrock exposed by erosion.
[16b] Bedrock exposed by erosion or human activities. Surface modified by lake and stream erosion and deposition. Stagnation moraine under a cover of lacustrine sediment.

Regional surface form models
Information collected for Land System mapping described regional surface forms in general terms (Table 4.4). Soil mappers could record up to three surface forms that described an area.

Table 4.4  Surface Form Models used for Land System mapping 
Surface Form ModelSymbol
Inclined and UndulatingIU
Hummocky and PlateauHP
Hummocky and RidgedHR
Stream ChannelsSC
Water-Dominated WetlandsW
Disturbed LandDL

Regional bedrock

The regional bedrock type is identified from the Bedrock Map of Alberta (Green 1972)

Field Definition:

Attribute Coding Rules:
  • Enter one or two codes in order of aerial extent
    Lakes and wetlands
The type and abundance of lakes and various kinds of wetlands are coded using a simple classification which was adapted from Miller, 1976.

Field Definition:
TypeMineral Wetlands  Organic WetlandsLakes/Ponds
Abundance class0 25
0 5  25
0 25

Attribute Coding Rules:
  • Determine type of wetlands present where:
    Mineral Wetlands = gleysols and non permanent sloughs
Organic Wetlands = bogs and fens. Areas composed mainly of peat or sedge and organic materials
Lakes/Ponds = permanent water bodies
  • Select only one Abundance class for each applicable type, where:
      0 = none
      5 = <5%
      25 = 5 to 25%
      >> = >25%

Regional soil models

This is a listing of the soils with the greatest aerial extent in the Land System. The soils can be identified by drainage, soil sub group, parent material texture and the till name.

Field Definition:
DrainageSoilsParent Material
Till Name
choose from Table 4.5choose from
Table 4.6
choose from Table 4.7(depending on the selection under Parent Material Texture, a list of possible till names will appear. Choose a till name according to Soil Names File Gen 2)
eg. poorly drainede.g.. Solonetze.g.. F4e.g.. Edmonton

Attribute Coding Rules: Table 4.5  Drainage Categories
Freely drained (FD)
Imperfectly drained (I)
Poorly drained (P)
Area Ponding (AP)

Table 4.6  Regional Soils
Brown Chernozemic
Dark Brown Chernozemic
Thin Black Chernozemic
Thick Black Chernozemic
Dark Gray Chernozemic
Solonetzic Chernozemic
Gleyed Chernozemic
Gray Luvisol
Dark Gray Luvisol
Solonetzic Luvisol
Gleyed Luvisol
Gleyed Solonetz
Humic Gleysol
Luvic Gleysol
Solonetzic Gleysol
Undifferentiated Gleysols

Table 4.7 Parent Material Texture
Coarse textured materials
C0Coarse textured (S, LS, SL) material (undifferentiated)
C1 Gravels or gravely (cobbly/stony) coarse textured material
C2 Very coarse (S, LS) sediments deposited by wind or water
C3Moderately coarse (SL, FSL) sediments deposited by wind or water
C4 Very coarse textured till (Till name)
C5 Moderately coarse textured tills (Till name)
C6 Coarse textured (S, LS, SL) softrock
C7 Coarse grained bedrock
Medium textured materials
M0Medium textured (VFSL, L, SiL, SiCL, CL, SCL) materials (undifferentiated)
M1Gravelly medium textured sediments deposited by water (includes cobbly and stony variations
M2Medium textured (L, VFSL) sediments deposited by wind and water
Moderately fine textured (CL, SCL, SiCL) sediments deposited by water
M4Medium textured (L to CL) till (Till name)
M5Medium textured (L to CL) softrock
M6Gravelly and stony medium textured till
Fine textured materials
F0Fine textured (C, SiC, HC) materials (undifferentiated)
F1Fine textured (C, SiC) water-laid sediments
F2Very fine textured (HC) water-laid sediments
F3 Fine textured (C) water-laid sediments with till-like features
F4Fine textured (C) till (Till name)
F5Fine textured (C, SiC) softrock
Layered materials (change occurs between 30 and 100 cm)
L1Gravel or gravelly coarse over medium or fine textured till (includes cobbly and stony variations)
L2Coarse textured (S, LS, SL) over medium or fine textured till
L3 Medium textured (VFSL, L, SiCL, CL) over medium or fine textured till
L4Coarse textured over gravel or gravelly coarse (includes cobbly and stony variations)
L5Medium textured over gravel or gravelly coarse (includes cobbly and stony variations)
L6 Till (Till name) over softrock
L7Coarse (not till) over softrock L8 - Medium (not till) over softrock
L9Coarse (not till) textured over fine or very fine (not till)
L10Medium (not till) textured over fine or very fine (not till)
L11Peat (any) over coarse textured
L12Peat (any) over medium textured
L13Peat (any) over fine textured
L14Fine textured (not till) over medium to moderately fine textured till
L15Very fine textured (not till) over medium to moderately fine textured till
L16Fine to very fine textured (not till) over softrock
L17Gravelly (includes stony variations) medium textured material over medium or fine textured till
L18Medium textured material over coarse textured material
L19Gravelly medium textured material over softrock
L20Coarse textured over medium or moderately fine (not till)
L21Gravelly coarse textured over medium or moderately fine (not till)
L22 Fine (not till) over medium (not till)
Peat material
P1 Sphagnum Peat
P2 Fen Peat
P3 Forest Peat
Undifferentiated material
U0 Undifferentiated

Soil Landscape Data Capture

The following points were some general guidelines for coding attributes for Soil Landscapes.

  • the system was designed to provide decision assist tools when coding attributes.
  • there were mandatory fields that were required to be coded as well as optional fields.
  • unique polygon identification was required.
  • the analyst entered the basic evidence for a polygon and was able to edit the data as required
  • the analyst had the option of importing data from an existing polygon and editing the data.
Soil model
  • the order of coding the basic evidence was important. The order in which soils are coded was used to generate a Soil Model.
Landscape model
  • the analyst entered an existing Landscape model or entered the data necessary to describe a landscape if a model did not exist.
Soil landscape models
  • the analyst entered basic evidence for the polygon. Based on the evidence and a set of rules a Soil
Landscape Model was automatically generated for that polygon.

Polygon identification

Field definition and examples:

Attribute coding rules
  • Mandatory entry.
  • Analysts ensured that the polygon identification numbers were unique.
  • Analysts coded the meridian, range, township and polygon number. Polygon numbers could not exceed 99.
Ecological setting
Field definition and examples:
Ecodistrict (LRA)
Land System Number

Attribute coding rules:
  • Mandatory entry for ecoregion, ecodistrict, Land System number and SCA (Table 4.1).
Analyst and correlator
Attribute coding rules:
  • Analyst name was a mandatory entry (automatically done).
  • For every Soil Landscape polygon coded, a record of the date and name of analyst was stored.
Soil model attributes
Attributes of the Soil Model were captured as basic evidence. The analyst captured only those pieces of evidence that were known. A set of rules were applied to the basic evidence to generate a soil model.

Field definition and examples
Sub -
Table 4.5Table 4.10Table 4.10Table 4.10Table 4.8Table 4.7  

Soil Series Variant
Gen 2 Table 4.9
M* O

M: mandatory entry
M*: at least one of the four attributes must be coded
M**: mandatory if soil series is not identified
O: optional entry

Attribute coding rules:
  • the basic evidence could be recorded to any level of detail to which the soil analyst was confident.
  • the soil model symbol was generated automatically

The analyst coded at least one of the following four attributes:
Soil Series: from Generation 2 Soil Names File
Order: According to the CSSC, Table 4.10
Great Group: According to the CSSC, from Table 4.10
Sub Group: According to the CSSC, from Table 4.10

The analyst coded:
Wetness: Table 4.5
Parent Material: from Table 4.7
a) Dominant (Dom) ³ 60%
b) Co-Dominant (Co-Dom) ³ 30 - £ 60%
c) Significant (Sig) ³ 10 - £ 30%
Allowable combination of proportions:
a) One dominant soil; up to five significant soils
b) Two co-dominant soils; up to four significant soils
c) Three co-dominant soils (ranked in order of occurrence; one significant soil

The analyst had the option of coding:
Modifier: A modifier of the subgroup, from Table 4.8
Variant: from Table 4.9

Table 4.8 Soil Subgroup Modifiers
NANot applicable
DADark Ap or Ah >5 cm
ELEluviated - has an Ae horizon
SASaline Profile
ZTSolonetzic B horizon

Table 4.9 Variants
AANot modal SCAXLLithic at 30 - 99
ACAcidXPParalithic at 30 - 99
CACalcareousXSSand at 30 - 99
CBCobblyXTTill at 30 - 99
COCoarseXUUndifferentiated material at 30 - 99
CRCarbonatedXZPermafrost at 30 - 99
CYCryicYCClay at 100 - 200
DADark Ap (cult)YGGravel at 100 - 200
DLDisturbedYLLithic at 100 - 200
ERErodedYPParalithic at 100 - 200
FIFineYSSand at 100 - 200
GLGleyedYTTill at 100 - 200
GMGrumicYZPermafrost at 100 - 200
GRGravelly (entire profile)ZEEluviated
OWOverwashedZGGleyed Rego
SCSaline SubsoilZMMesic
TAThin AZSSolodic
TKThick AZTSolonetzic
XCClay at 30 - 99ZZAtypical subgroup
XGGravel at 30 - 99ZBBrunisolic

Table 4.10 Order, Great Group & Subgroup Codes for White Area of Alberta
OrderGreat GroupSubgroup CodeSubgroup Name
Brunisolic (Brun) EutricO.EB Orthic Eutric Brunisol
E.EBEluviated Eutric Brunisol
GL.EBGleyed Eutric Brunisol
GLE.EBGleyed Eluviated Eutric Brunisol
Dystric O.DYBOrthic Dystric Brunisol
E.DYBEluviated Dystric Brunisol
GL.DYBGleyed Dystric Brunisol
GLE.DYBGleyed Eluviated Dystric Brunisol
Chernozemic (Cher)Brown O.BCOrthic Brown
R.BCRego Brown
CA.BCCalcareous Brown
E.BCEluviated Brown
SZ.BCSolonetzic Brown
GL.BCGleyed Brown
GLR.BCGleyed Rego Brown
GLCA.BCGleyed Calcareous Brown
GLE.BCGleyed Eluviated Brown
GLSZ.BCGleyed Solonetzic Brown
Dark BrownO.DBCOrthic Dark Brown
R.DBCRego Dark Brown
CA.DBCCalcareous Dark Brown
SZ.DBCSolonetzic Dark Brown
GL.DBCGleyed Dark Brown
GLR.DBCGleyed Rego Dark Brown
GLCA.DBCGleyed Calcareous Dark Brown
GLSZ.DBCGleyed Solonetzic Dark Brown
BlackO.BLCOrthic Black
R.BLCRego Black
CA.BLCCalcareous Black
E.BLCEluviated Black
SZ.BLCSolonetzic Black
GL.BLCGleyed Black
GLR.BLCGleyed Rego Black
GLCA.BLCGleyed Calcareous Black
GLE.BLCGleyed Eluviated Black
GLSZ.BLCGleyed Solonetzic Black
Dark GrayO.DGCOrthic Dark Gray
R.DGCRego Dark Gray
CA.DGC Calcareous Dark Gray
SZ.DGCSolonetzic Dark Gray
GL.DGCGleyed Dark Gray
GLR.DGC Gleyed Rego Dark Gray
GLCA.DGC Gleyed Calcareous Dark Gray
GLE.DGCGleyed Eluviated Dark Gray
GLSZ.DGCGleyed Solonetzic Dark Gray
Gleysolic (Gley)LuvicSZ.LGSolonetzic Luvic Gleysol
FR.LG Fragic Luvic Gleysol
HU.LG Humic Luvic Gleysol
FE.LG Fera Luvic Gleysol
O.LG Orthic Luvic Gleysol
Humic SZ.HGSolonetzic Humic Gleysol
FE.HGFera Humic Gleysol
O.HGOrthic Humic Gleysol
R.HG Rego Humic Gleysol
GleysolSZ.GSolonetzic Gleysol
FE.GFera Gleysol
O.GOrthic Gleysol
R.GRego Gleysol
Luvisolic (Luvi)GrayO.GLOrthic Gray Luvisol
D.GLDark Gray Luvisol
BR.GLBrunisolic Gray Luvisol
PZ.GLPodzolic Gray Luvisol
SZ.GLSolonetzic Gray Luvisol
FR.GLFragic Gray Luvisol
GL.GLGleyed Gray Luvisol
GLD.GLGleyed Dark Gray Luvisol
GLBR.GLGleyed Brunisolic Gray Luvisol
GLPZ.GLGleyed Podozolic Gray Luvisol
GLSZ.GLGleyed Solonetzic Gray Luvisol
GLFR.GLGleyed Fragic Gray Luvisol
Organic (Orga)Fibrisol TY.FTypic Fibrisol
ME.FMesic Fibrisol
HU.FHumic Fibrisol
LM.FLimno Fibrisol
CU.FCumulo Fibrisol
T.FTerric Fibrisol
TME.FTerric Mesic Fibrisol
THU.FTerric Humic Fibrisol
HY.FHydric Fibrisol
MesisolTY.M Typic Mesisol
FI.MFibric Mesisol
HU.MHumic Mesisol
LM.MLimno Mesisol
CU.MCumulo Mesisol
T.MTerric Mesisol
TFI.MTerric Fibric Mesisol
THU.MTerric Humic Mesisol
HY.MHydric Mesisol
HumisolTY.HTypic Humisol
ME.HMesic Humisol
FI.HFibric Humisol
LM.HLimno Humisol
CU.HCumulo Humisol
T.HTerric Humisol
TFI.HTerric Fibric Humisol
TME.HTerric Mesic Humisol
HY.HHydric Humisol
FolisolHE.FOHumic Folisol
HU.FOHumic Folisol
LI.FOLignic Folisol
HI.FOHistic Folisol
Regosolic (Rego)Regosol O.ROrthic Regosol
CU.RCumulic Regosol
GL.RGleyed Regosol
GLCU.RGleyed Cumulic Regosol
Humic RegosolO.HROrthic Humic Regosol
CU.HRCumulic Humic Regosol
GL.HRGleyed Humic Regosol
GLCU.HRGleyed Cumulic Humic Regosol
Solonetzic (Solo)  SolonetzB.SZBrown Solonetz
DB.SZDark Brown Solonetz
BL.SZBlack Solonetz
A.SZAlkaline Solonetz
GLB.SZGleyed Brown Solonetz
GLDB.SZGleyed Dark Brown Solonetz
GLBL.SZGleyed Black Solonetz
Solodized SolonetzB.SSBrown Solodized Solonetz
DB.SSDark Brown Solodized Solonetz
BL.SSBlack Solodized Solonetz
DG.SSDark Gray Solodized Solonetz
G.SSGray Solodized Solonetz
GLB.SSGleyed Brown Solodized Solonetz
GLDB.SSGleyed Dark Brown Solodized Solonetz
GLBL.SSGleyed Black Solodized Solonetz
GLDG.SSGleyed Dark Gray Solodized Solonetz
GLG.SS Gleyed Gray Solodized Solonetz
SolodB.SOBrown Solod
DB.SODark Brown Solod
BL.SOBlack Solod
DG.SODark Gray Solod
G.SOGray Solod
GLB.SOGleyed Brown Solod
GLDB.SOGleyed Dark Brown Solod
GLBL.SOGleyed Black Solod
GLDG.SOGleyed Dark Gray Solod
GLG.SOGleyed Gray Solod

Landscape model attributes
Landscape models are a conceptual description of a recognizably distinct landscape. The models are used to identify the following characteristics of a landscape:
- surface form (inclined, undulating, hummocky, rolling, etc.).
- slope gradients
- slope lengths
- landform elements
- relief

Surface form can be described and classified by various methods. The most common methods are surface shape (or expression) and geologic landform (which implies method of origin). Table 4.11 illustrates the current list of Landscape Models described by surface form and landform.

Landscape Model:

Attribute coding rules:
  • Choose one model for Soil Landscape mapping by entering the appropriate code as defined in Table 4.11. 
Table 4.11 Landscape Models (adapted from Shetsen 1987; 1990).

 Code DescriptionSlope Class(es)
U1 undulating
l. low relief
h. high relief
2 (1)
2 to 3, 3
L1 level plain 1, 1 to 2
L2 level and closed basin (depression with raised edges) 1 to 2
L3 level and terraced, not within modern stream channels 2, 2 to 3 with risers
M1 rolling (inclined slopes > 400 m, multi-directional)
m. moderate relief
h. high relief
4, 4 to 5
5, 5 to 6
R2 Ridged (includes fluted terrain)
l. low relief
m. moderate relief
h. high relief
4 to 5
5 to 6, 6+
D1 longitudinal dunes
l. low relief
m. mod. relief
h. high relief
3 to 4, 4
4 to 5, 5
5 to 6, 6+
D2 parabolic or u-shaped dunes
l. low relief
m. mod. relief
h. high relief
3 to 4, 4
4 to 5, 5
5 to 6, 6+
Inclined and Undulating
IUinclined and undulating
l. low relief
h. high relief
< 5%
> 5%
l. low relief
m. mod. relief
h. high relief
3 to 4, 4 (3)
4 to 5, 5
5 to 6, 6+
H5hummocky draped moraine over softrock
l. low relief
m. moderate relief
h. high relief
3, 3 to 4
4 to 5
5 to 6
Hummocky and Plateau
HP1 hummocky stagnation moraine with nearly-level lacustrine plateaus (morainal lake scenarios)
m. moderate relief
h. high relief
4 to 5, with 2-3
5 to 6, with 2-3
Hummocky and Ridged
HR2 hummocky and ridged
m. moderate relief
h. high relief
4 to 5
5 to 6, 6+
I1 inclined plain (slope length > 400 m)
l. low relief2 to 3 (2)
I3 inclined to steep, single slope landforms with (includes old RB1 unit, fans, aprons)
l. low relief
m. mod. relief
h. high relief
3 to 4, 4
4 to 5, 5
5 to 6, 6+
I4 inclined to steep, single slope landforms with >10% exposed bedrock (includes old RB2 unit)
l. low relief
m. mod. relief
h. high relief
3 to 4, 4 (3)
4 to 5, 5
5 to 6, 6+
I5inclined, steep, with extensive failure slumps (RB5 and ZCV units) 5 to 6, 6 +
FP1 meander floodplain 1 to 2, 2, 2 to 3
FP2unconfined braided channel 1 to 2, 2, 2 to 3
FP3confined floodplain, possibly terraced 2, 2 to 3 (1)
Stream Channels
SC1valley with confined floodplain
l. low relief
h. high relief (steep sides)
<9% side slopes
>9% slopes
SC2wide valley with one or more terraces (coulees included)
SC3 v-shaped valley with no terraces or floodplain (RB4)
SC4 sub-glacial channel (intermittently incised)
O1Level, flat, horizontal or plateau
O2Basin (bowl)
O3Channelled, ribbed or net
O5Level organic with hummocky mineral soils 2, 3-6

  Water-Dominated Wetlands (land surface dominated by water)
W1 channel sloughs and ponds in linear arrangement, no channel banks. Often old ice-walled channel feature. 
W2 Non-aligned aggregation of sloughs/ponds with little inter-slough area. Can have significant inter-water area. 
W3 A single water body basin which may be filled or partly filled with water (greater than 65 ha area). 

Disturbed Land
RR reclaimed or reconstructed land 
DL any disturbed land (urban, gravel pits, areas not suitable for arable crops) 
GZ Green Zone area (not mapped in the CAESA Project) 

Field definition:
Table 4.11Table 4.3  
Table 4.12 Soil Landscape Modifiers
dDissected (> 50 cm, gully, same position year after year)
rshallow to bedrock (within 5 metres)
eeroded pits (specific to solonetzic landscapes)
cChanneled (< 50 cm, rill, re-occur at the same position year after year)

Salt affected
Define presence or absence of salinity (true if salinity is present or false if salinity is absent)
Confidence level
The analyst records the level of confidence that they have in the basic evidence (low = 1, medium = 2 or high = 3)
Field check required
The analyst records if a field inspection was made in the polygon (true or false). If a field visit was made then the analyst records ‘done’ (entry screens only).

*****[Allowable Codes]       Legend

Other Documents in the Series

  CAESA Land Systems User's Manual
Soil Inventory Project Procedures Manual
Canada - Alberta Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture (CAESA): Soil Inventory Project Procedures Manual - Introduction
Canada - Alberta Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture (CAESA): Soil Inventory Project Procedures Manual - The Soil Inventory Process
AGRASID 1.0: Soil Inventory Project Procedures Manual - Digital Procedures
Canada - Alberta Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture Agreement (CAESA): Soil Inventory Project Procedures Manual - Data Dictionary - Current Document
Canada - Alberta Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture Agreement (CAESA): Soil Inventory Project Procedures Manual - References
AGRASID 1.0: Soil Inventory Project Procedures Manual - Glossary of Terms
AGRASID 1.0: Soil Inventory Project Procedures Manual - Appendix A
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For more information about the content of this document, contact David Spiess.
This document is maintained by Laura Thygesen.
This information published to the web on February 7, 2003.
Last Reviewed/Revised on January 26, 2018.