Stoniness or Rockiness

Amber Anderson; Gerald Miller; and Lee Burras

This colluvial soil with a stony layer due to past erosion is not the same as bedrock, but can still cause challenges for use and management

Stoniness or Rockiness

This soil pit in glacial outwash would be considered to have a significant portion of rock fragments (about 50-60% of volume) causing challenges for plant growth and stability.

Stoniness means loose stones, and rockiness means exposed bedrock. Either condition should be noted where it is serious enough to limit the use of the land. Rocks are defined as fragments greater than 2.0 mm in size. Rock fragments of any size may be included in this item if they cause a serious limitation for tillage, conservation practices, or construction. A soil with 15% or more rock or rock fragments by volume will typically have serious limitations, particularly due to significant decreases in water-holding capacity for plants.

Iowa State University soil judging team pondering a pit near Manhattan KS, with shallow bedrock. This soil would be significantly limited due to this bedrock.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Soil Judging in Iowa Copyright © 2023 by Amber Anderson; Gerald Miller; and Lee Burras is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.