For use in LRRs W, X, and Y.
A mineral layer with a dominant hue of N, 10Y, 5GY, 10GY, 5G, 10G, 5BG, 10BG, 5B, 10B, or 5PB and with value of 4 or more in more than 50 percent of the matrix. The layer starts at a depth ≤30 cm (12 inches) from the mineral surface and is underlain at a depth ≤1.5 m (60 inches) from the soil surface by soil material with hue of 5Y or redder in the same type of parent material.
User Notes: This indicator can be used for all mineral soils, not just sandy soils. The indicator has two requirements. First, one or more of the specified gley colors occurs ≤30 cm (12 inches) from the soil surface. These must be the colors on the pages of the Munsell color book (X-Rite, 2009) that show gley colors, not simply gray colors. Second, below these gley colors, the color of similar soil material is 5Y or redder (2.5Y, 10YR, 7.5YR, etc.). The presence of the truly gley colors indicates that the soil has undergone reduction. The requirement for 5Y or redder colors lower in the profile ensures that the gley colors are not simply the basic color of the parent material. Tidal sediments, lacustrine sediments, loess, and some glacial tills have base colors that appear as gley. This indicator proves that the near-surface gley colors are not natural soil material colors and that they are the result of reduced conditions. When comparing the near-surface and underlying colors, make sure that both are the same type of soil material. Many soils in Alaska consist of two or more types of material (e.g., silty loess overlying gravelly glacial till or sand and gravel river deposits).