Estelle -- Alaska Soil

Photograph of landscape with Estelle soils. The specific scene is mountainous terrain with snow cover and a cloudy, overcast sky.

Photograph of a soil profile of a representative pedon of Estelle soil series.

Estelle Soil Profile

Surface layer: dark brown organic material
Subsurface layer: dark gray silt loam
Subsoil - upper: yellowish red silt loam
Subsoil - lower: strong brown silt loam
Substratum: grayish brown very gravelly loam

The Estelle series consists of very deep, well drained soils formed in a mantle of ash-influenced loess 14 to 24 inches thick over friable or firm gravelly glacial till. These soils are on glacial till plains and hillslopes. They support a forest of mixed birch and spruce. The Estelle series was established in the Matanuska Valley area of Alaska in 1996. It was named after a woman pioneer who settled in the area in the late 1800's. Estelle soils are extensive throughout the south-central lowlands of Alaska, where more than half of Alaska's 600,000 people live. The mean annual precipitation is about 18 inches, and the mean annual temperature is about 35 degrees F.

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