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A soil horizon is a layer generally parallel to the soil surface, whose physical
characteristics differ from the layers above and beneath.
Different layers of soil.
There are five soil horizons.
The five soil horizons are called Master Horizons.
Each Master Horizons are distinguished by different colors, compositions, and
The more layers soil has, the older it is!


Master horizons each have distinctive characteristics that distinguish one
from another.

O Horizon:
This layer generally forms above the mineral soil or occurs in an organic soil profile. The "O" stands
for organic matter. It is a surface layer dominated by the presence of large amounts of organic
material derived from dead plant and/or animal residues which is in varying stages of decomposition


The A horizon is the topmost mineral horizon, often referred to as the 'topsoil'. This layer generally
contains enough partially decomposed (humified) organic matter to give the soil a color darker than
that of the lower horizons

Dark in color, which is caused by a build up of organic matter.

Majority of soils have an A horizon

E horizon:
"E", being short for eluviated, is most commonly used to label a horizon that has been
significantly leached of clay, iron, and aluminum oxides, which leaves a concentration of
resistant minerals, such as quartz, in the sand and silt sizes. These are present only in older,
well-developed soils, and generally occur between the A and B horizons.

In this horizon, a slow removal of fine clay and organic material is moved down
through the soil.

B horizon :
The B horizon is commonly referred to as the "subsoil". In humid regions, B horizons are the layers
of maximum accumulation of materials such as silicate clays, iron (Fe) and aluminum (Al) oxides,
and organic material

C horizon :
This layer is little affected by soil-forming processes and they thus have a lack of pedological
development. In other words, the C horizon is the unconsolidated material underlying the solum

Called the Parent Material from which A, E, and B horizons can develop
Subordinate Horizon:
There are some other subordinate horizons .they are present in the above
Subordinate distinctions include, but are not limited to, special physical characteristics and
the accumulation of particular materials

p horizon has been plowed or mixed, only goes with the A horizon
k- accumulation of carbonates
Associated with the B horizon
Found in an arid environment
Contains high pH
g- horizon has been water-logged
Only goes with the B or C horizons
Poor drainage
t- found in a temperate climate
Accumulation of clay

Found in the B horizon layer