Image: Calhoun CZO excavations in historically gullied cotton land. Research Area 8. Photo: Dan Richter. [Click image to enlarge]
On 21-22 November 2016 backhoe drivers dug two 2-m deep soil pits to inaugurate newly designated research area 8 in the Calhoun CZO. One of the pits was installed in the hardwood forest, one in the pine forest site. Two additional smaller profiles were excavated in the pine site using Dan Markweitz's DynaDiggr power shovel at the edge of a gully and mid-way between the big pit and the gully. These pits allow relatively easy access (though still difficult at times!) to soil and roots down to 2-m depth, a rare opportunity! Samples will be split among five researchers who are working to analyze the samples for many different features. The soil profiles will be formally described by grad student Caitlin Hodges of the University of Georgia as well as Lance Brewington, the MLRA Soil Survey Leader for the USDA NCRS. The pits will be open for 1 month to allow time for everyone to get all the samples they need. These pits complement the pits installed in October 2016 in Research Areas 1, 2, and 7.