For use in LRRs C, F, K, L, M, N, O, P, R, S, T, and U; for testing in LRRs Q, V and Z.
Several stratified layers starting at a depth ≤15 cm (6 inches) from the soil surface. At least one of the layers has value of 3 or less and chroma of 1 or less, or it is muck, mucky peat, peat, or a mucky modified mineral texture. The remaining layers have chroma of 2 or less. For any sandy material that constitutes the layer with value of 3 or less and chroma of 1 or less, at least 70 percent of the visible soil particles must be masked with organic material, viewed through a 10x or 15x hand lens. Observed without a hand lens, the particles appear to be close to 100 percent masked.
User Notes: Use of this indicator may require assistance from a trained soil scientist with local experience. The minimum organic-carbon content of at least one layer of this indicator is slightly less than is required for indicator A7 (5 cm Mucky Mineral). An undisturbed sample must be observed. Individual strata are dominantly less than 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick. A hand lens is an excellent tool to aid in the identification of this indicator. Many alluvial soils have stratified layers at greater depths; these soils do not meet the requirements of this indicator. Many alluvial soils have stratified layers at the required depths but do not have chroma of 2 or less; these do not meet the requirements of this indicator. The stratified layers occur in any soil texture.