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Springerville/Gem Soil Types

A combination of Springerville and Gem soil types are generally found within this area of the watershed. Springerville soils are generally limited to elevations of 3,500 ft. ( 1,067m ) to 6,500 ft. ( 1,982m), while Gem soils are generally limited to elevations of 6,500 ft. (1,982m) to 7,000 ft. ( 2,134m). These two soil types have been lumped into one unit to accommodate the scale of this map.

Springerville: Springerville soils generally consist of moderately deep and deep, well-drained soils. They formed in material weathered from basalt and cinders. These typically have a dark grayish-brown to reddish-brown surface layer that is slightly hard when dry and has platy or granular structure. The underlying layers are brown or reddish brown, are extremely hard when dry, and break into large, blocky aggregates. Springerville soils are generally calcareous at depth and in some places to the surface. They are found at elevations where annual precipitation ranges from 11 to 18 inches and they are dissected by deep canyons in many places. The plant cover consists mainly of pinyon pine and juniper, with sparse Gambel oak and ponderosa pine. It includes blue and black grama, as well as some sideoats grama, squirreltail, turbinella oak, mountain-mahogany, snakeweed, and filaree. At the lowest elevations (3,500-4,000 ft.), mesquite, canotia, pricklypear, filaree, and tobosa are found.

Gem: Gem soils are generally moderately deep and deep, dark-colored soils on moderately undulating uplands. They are formed ina material derived from basalt and cinders and occur at elevations where annual precipitation ranges from 18 to 19 inches. Plant cover generally consists of blue grama, squirreltail, three-awn, ring muhly, snakeweed, some alligator juniper, and scattered ponderosa pine and Utah juniper. They generally have a very dark grayish-brown surface layer that is soft when dry and has granular structure. The subsoil is brown and extremely hard, with prismatic or blocky structure. The substratum is reddish yellow and reddish brown, hard when dry, and is massive. The lower part of the soil is calcareous, while the surface generally consists of cobblestones and angular fragments.


Williams, J.A.; Anderson, T.C., Jr. 1967. Soil Survey of Beaver Creek Area, Arizona. USDA Forest Service, Soil Conservation Service and Arizona Agriculture Experiment Station.


Northern Arizona University         Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research         Rocky Mountain Research Station         MAB