The Foothills Fescue Soils
The soils of the Foothills Fescue Subregion are predominantly Dark Brown and Black
Chernozems. Solonetzic soils are not
as common in the Foothills Fescue Subregion.
Chernozems are a typical prairie soil. They were formed only 100,000 years ago under aerobic conditions where water flowed freely through the upper layers. They were created by the sudden and rapid addition of
organic matter, along with lots of humidification.
If you were to look at a cross-section of a Chernozem, you might see things like earthworm tracks and animal burrows filled in with different types of soils. Animals like these aerated the soils and were crucial in the formation of Chernozems.
Although there are many different kinds of Chernozems, there is very little difference between them.
It is interesting to note that Black Chernozems are formed when there
are high levels of precipitation in
a particular area.
Chernozems are generally dry, and as such, can only support vegetation like tall grasses. Sometimes, though, patches of
deciduous woodlands can grow as well.
Information provided by and printed with the permission
of Alberta Community Development, Parks
and Protected Areas.