For use in all LRRs, except for W, X, and Y; for testing in LRRs W, X, and Y.
A layer that is at least 10 cm (4 inches) thick, starting at a depth ≤20 cm (8 inches) from the mineral soil, and has:
a. Matrix value of 3 or less and chroma of 1 or less and 2 percent or more distinct or prominent redox concentrations occurring as soft masses or pore linings, or
b. Matrix value of 3 or less and chroma of 2 or less and 5 percent or more distinct or prominent redox concentrations occurring as soft masses or pore linings.
User Notes: This is a very common indicator used to delineate wetland soils that have a dark surface layer. Redox concentrations in mineral soils with a high content of organic matter and a dark surface layer commonly are small and difficult to see. The organic matter masks some or all of the concentrations that may be present. Careful examination is required to see what are commonly brownish redox concentrations in the darkened materials. If the soil is saturated at the time of sampling, it may be necessary to let it dry at least to a moist condition for redox features to become visible. Soils that are wet because of ponding or have a shallow, perched layer of saturation may have any color below the dark surface. It is recommended that delineators evaluate the hydrologic source and examine and describe the layer below the dark colored surface layer when applying this indicator.