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Lake Erie North Shore Watershed Plan - Niagara Peninsula ...

Lake Erie North Shore Watershed Plan - Niagara Peninsula ...

LAKE ERIE NORTH SHORE

LAKE ERIE NORTH SHORE WATERSHED PLAN Figure 7: Points and Bays 32

LAKE ERIE NORTH SHORE WATERSHED PLAN Soils The soils in the Niagara Region were resurveyed and documented in a report entitled The Soils of Regional Niagara (Kingston and Present 1989) by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Agriculture Canada. This study included geological and physiological features; soil groups and types; soil moisture characteristics; drainage and variability; common properties of soil groups; as well as information related to agricultural soil use and classification. The following soil descriptions and associated chart and maps (Figures 8a and 8b) are derived primarily from this document. Numerous soil groups characterize the Lake Erie North Shore watershed; however, it is generally dominated by the poorly drained Welland and Brooke soil groups. Both soil groups have a high capacity to hold water and a slow to moderate rate of permeability, however, surface cracking increases the permeability of Welland soils during the summer months. Except for the drier period during the summer months, the groundwater level remains close to the surface in Welland soils, and although they have a high capacity to hold water, moisture availability for plants is limited at this time due to the soils high clay content. The combined problems associated with high clay contents and high water tables limit the use of this soil group for most agricultural crops. Welland soils are typically associated with Malton soils and Lincoln soils which like Welland soils, both groups have a high clayey texture, high water-holding capability and a perched water table. These soil groups are also generally limited to field crops if tile drained. Brooke soils are shallow with clayey textures and a thickness typically reaching only one meter over dolostone bedrock, with surface soils having a high organic content. Due to groundwater ponding on the relatively impermeable bedrock, the shallow Brooke soils with their high water-holding capacity tend to stay saturated for long periods each year. Due to the poor drainage and the shallowness to bedrock, Brooke soils are not suitable for agriculture. They are typically limited to pasture use or growing scrub. South of the Onondaga Escarpment on the eastern side of the Welland Canal, Chinguacousy soils, Jeddo soils and Farmington soils dominate. Chinguacousy and Jeddo soils are mainly clay loam till. Chinguacousy are imperfectly drained with a moderate to slow permeability and a relatively high capacity for holding water. Regional groundwater fluctuates in the lower horizons with temporary occupancy in the surface horizons for time periods each year. Chinguacousy soils have a moderate to rapid surface runoff and are also quite erodible; therefore as slope increases erosion control measures should be considered. These soils are used for growing common field crops, however tile drainage is necessary. Jeddo soils are poorly drained, slowly permeable with a moderate to rapid rate of surface runoff, depending on the slope. These soils are saturated by groundwater most of the year and are susceptible to a high degree of compaction. Chinguacousy soils are the most common soils found as soil inclusions with Jeddo soils. Jeddo soils are used to grow a wide range of field crops; however, these soils require tile drainage and continued maintenance, in part, due to high degrees of compaction. Farmington soils on the other hand, are well drained and typically have good permeability but its water holding capacity varies with texture. Textures vary from sandy loam to silty clay, although loamy textures are most common. Like Brooke soils, Farmington soils are also very shallow with depths reaching only 20 centimetres over the 33

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