(from Latin inceptum, "beginning") are soils that exhibit minimal horizon development. They are more
developed than Entisols, but still lack the features that are characteristic
of other soil orders.
Although not found under aridic climate regimes, Inceptisols nevertheless are widely distributed and occur across a wide range
of ecological settings.They are often found on fairly steep slopes,
young geomorphic surfaces, and on resistant parent materials. Land
use varies considerably with Inceptisols. A sizable percentage of
Inceptisols are found in mountainous areas and are used for forestry,
recreation, and watershed.
Inceptisols occupy an estimated
15% of the global ice-free land area – only the Entisols are more extensive.
In the US, they occupy ~9.7% of the land area. Inceptisols support
~20% of the world's population, the largest percentage of any
of the soil orders.
Inceptisols are divided into
7 suborders: Aquepts, Anthrepts, Gelepts,
Cryepts, Ustepts, Xerepts, and Udepts.
Click here for more information
about these suborders. Click here
to view a map of their distribution in the US.