The module focuses on problematic landscapes and parent materials. Most hydric soils exhibit certain common morphological characteristics that allow you to identify them as a soil that meets the hydric soil definition. Problem soils are hydric soils that do not exhibit these common hydric soil morphologies. The lack of a morphological indicator despite the soil developing anaerobic conditions in the upper part can be caused by many things including problematic parent material, certain environmental conditions, and the replenishment of iron oxides or new sediments in the upper part of the soil. For some problem soils, alternate morphologies that can only be used in specific problematic situations have been developed. For those problematic situations where an indicator has not been identified, alternative methods of identifying the soil as hydric must be employed. These techniques are outlined in chapter 5 of the Corps of Engineers Regional Supplements.
Target audience: Wetland field practitioners who need expertise in hydric soils and seek to understand how hydric soils are formed and how to recognize and interpret the information they provide when observed in the field.