Henning’s Lonesome Apple Tree Ridge Site, Eau Claire County, Wisconsin: An Investigation of Soils and Best Land Use Practices

Authors: Eric Drost*, University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire Department of Geography and Anthropology , Garry Running, University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire Department of Geography and Anthropology , Brittany Rickey*, University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire Department of Geography and Anthropology , Luke Semingson*, University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire Department of Geology, Glen Hook, University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire Department of Geology
Topics: Soils, Land Use, Physical Geography
Keywords: Soils, Land use, Midwest-USA
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In this poster we present the results of investigations conducted at the Henning’s Lonesome Apple Tree Ridge Site (the site) located about ten miles southeast of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students investigated soil profiles across this site to provide the owners with best land use recommendations. The site, a four-hectare parcel, currently in pasture, is located on the north and east-facing slopes of a Late-Cambrian sandstone bedrock-controlled ridge overlain by Late-Pleistocene age loess. Initial reconnaissance revealed that slope steepness and position are the most variable soil forming factors at the site. In 2016 four soil pits were excavated along a north-facing slope (from summit to toe slope). Three more soil pits were excavated along an adjoining east-facing slope (from summit to foot slope) in 2018. Soil profiles exposed in them were described following USDA-NRCS methods and nomenclature and were compared to soil series descriptions accessed from the USDA-NRCS Web Soil Survey. The soil profiles we described are consistent with the USDA-NRCS descriptions of Plainbo Loamy Sand (6-12% slopes), Seaton Silt Loam (12-20 % slopes), and Gale Silt Loam (20-30% slopes). These soils are erosion-prone, particularly when on steep slopes. Based on interpretive data from the Web Soil Survey we recommend land uses that don’t expose bare soils to erosion, i.e., pasture, orchards, low-impact recreational parks, and restoring native plant communities for wildlife habitat. Conversely, for fear of causing soil erosion on the steep slopes, land uses that disturb the site, such as excavation and construction, are problematic.

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