Phaeozems

 
Distribution of Phaeozems, FAO-GIS (click to view larger picture)

Phaeozems

Phaeozems occur all over the world, but especially on the more moist side of the steppe regions, bordering Chernozems.

Characteristics

Soils having

  • a mollic horizon (deep, brownish or blackish surface horizon with a significant  accumulation of organic matter and high base saturation);
  • a base saturation of 50 percent or more between 25 and 100 cm from the soil surface;
  • a calcium carbonate-free soil matrix at least to a depth of 100 cm from the soil surface, or to a contrasting layer between 25 and 100 cm;
  • no diagnostic horizons other than an albic, argic, cambic or vertic horizon, or a petrocalcic horizon in the substratum.

Show larger image
Phaeozem with a deep, black mollic horizon abruptly overlying a calcareous substrate, China (Calcari-Pachic Phaeozem)

Show larger image
Moderately deep clayey Phaeozem overlying limestone at irregular depth, China (Chromi-Luvic Phaeozem; ISRIC reference soil CN 049)