Requirement for Munsell Colours in System Designs

Many Standards of Practice require the use of the common soils identifier nomenclature from either the Canadian System of Soil Classification or the US System of Soil Classification.  These two systems are pretty similar for the most part.  Both systems point to the Munsell Colour Chart to determine soil colour.

So, why is properly determining soil colour important?  Colour can tell us a lot about the soil.  Soil colour can indicate whether the soil is saturated, or oxidized.  Soil colour can tell us if the soil is elluviated (the clay particles and some organics have washed through, in simple terms) or illuviated (the clay particles that washed through from above have settled in this horizon).  All of these things and more are available to us through the observation of soil colour.

Okay say you, so why does it matter how I describe the soil colour as long as I observe and analyze it?  By using a soil colour classification system, anyone can look at a soil report and know what colour that soil is by referring to the Munsell Colour Chart.  This can be really helpful when more than one individual or group is working with the soil on the same site.

The video below provides easy information on using a Munsell Colour Chart:

Where do I get a Munsell Colour Chart?
You can order Munsell’s online or call your association office.  We keep Munsell Colour Charts in stock and sell them to members at our cost plus shipping.

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