Encyclopedia of Soil Science

2008 Edition
| Editors: Ward Chesworth

Pan

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-3995-9_402

A hard and typically impermeable subsurface layer in a soil. Hardness may be a function of cementation, compaction or a high clay content of soil. The commonest varieties are iron pan, where the cement is iron carbonate; clay pan, a distinct clay‐packed layer within a profile; and plow pan, a compacted layer resulting from repeated plowing and an integral part of the human-induced anthraquic horizon of Hydragric Anthrosols. A less common usage is peat or moor pan for a hard layer sometimes found in moorland at the bottom of a peatbog, see also  Fragipan.

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© Springer 2008