Proposed classification for human modified soils in Canada: anthroposolic order.

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  • With increasing anthropogenic activity, the areal extent of disturbed soils is becoming larger and disturbances more intense. Regulatory frameworks must incorporate reclamation criteria for these disturbed soils, requiring consistent descriptions and interpretations. Many human altered soils cannot be classified using the Canadian System of Soil Classification (CSSC), thus an Anthroposolic Order is proposed. Anthroposols are azonal soils, highly modified or constructed by human activity, with one or more natural horizons removed, removed and replaced, added to, or significantly modified. Defining features are severe disruption of soil forming factors and introduction of potentially new pedogenic trajectories. Disturbed layers are anthropic in origin and contain materials significantly modified physically and/or chemically by human activities. Three great groups are defined by presence of anthropogenic artefacts and organic carbon content. Six subgroups are based on a cover soil layer with higher organic carbon content than the profile below it, on depth of disturbance, on drainage characteristics and water regime at the site. Some new phases and modifiers, in addition to traditional ones used in the CSSC, are based on chemical and physical properties and origins of anthropogenic artefacts. The proposed classification has been successfully applied to reclaimed profiles and is ready for widespread field testing.

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    Article (Published)
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    © 2012 Agricultural Institute of Canada. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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    • Naeth, M. A., Archibald, H. A., Nemirsky, C. L., Leskiw, L. A., Brierley, J. A., Bock, M. D., VandenBygaart, A. J. and Chanasyk, D. S. 2012. Proposed classification for human modified soils in Canada: Anthroposolic order. Can. J. Soil Sci. 92: 7–18.