[photo of a hydric soil with a penny shamelessly lifted from the internet]


When I started blogging in 2011, I had a blog partner and we launched Persephone’s Stepsisters together. It was an eclectic mix of book reviews, essays on the environment, writing tips, and musings on life. It was fun and successful and a huge learning curve for me. Then, as all relationships do either through death, divorce, or difference of opinion, it broke apart. Persephone’s Stepsisters continues on, and I’ve since launched this blog, Green Life Blue Water, but three years of content is a lot to have floating around in cyberspace, so in an effort to put my intellectual property back where it belongs, under my domain, I am periodically going to repost some of my favorite blog posts from that time period. If you’ve read them before, maybe you’ll see something new this time around. And since I love alliteration I’ve titled it reduximorphic.

Redoximorphic is a term used by soil scientists. In the wetlands world, a redoximorphic feature is a mottled color pattern, oranges and reds intermixed with varying grey tones indicative of a hydric soil, and which allows soil scientists to determine the classification of that hydric soil. If you don’t know what a hydric soil is think blueberry or cranberry bogs, the low lying areas on either side of the causeway en route to the beach, and generally any marshy area that has saturation, ponding or even flooding during the growing season as defined by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in its 1987 Wetlands Delineation Manual using a complicated formula and something about the soil’s biological zero temperature (roughly spring) — i.e., wetlands.unknown-1

During the growing season, water creates the anaerobic conditions in the upper part of the soil closest to the earth’s surface. The saturation results in the oxidation and reduction of iron or manganese through the loss and gain of electrons, a process which I’m sure a high school chemistry student could explain much more succinctly than I can so I will leave it at that. The amount of redoximorphic features allows soil scientists to estimate the depth of the hydric soil, i.e., how much is saturated and for how long.unknown

I think it’s cool, and mysterious, and something to ponder and really has nothing to do with reduximorphic, a word I made up. Redux, meaning to revive or come around again or bring back, but I submit it also implies leaving a trail, something for others to find. That all blends together in my sometimes mottled (get it?) thinking process to be a solid reason as to why I am reclaiming my prior work. Tenuous? Perhaps, but at least I’m never bored.

Tomorrow, a bit about triclosan, an over-used anti-bacterial agent and why you don’t need it in your soap, or shampoo, or mostly anything else, really. Until then.

About Pam Lazos

writer, blogger, environmentally hopeful
This entry was posted in hydric soils, science, wetlands and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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