(from Latin verto, "turn") are clay-rich soils that shrink and swell with changes
in moisture content. During dry periods, the soil volume shrinks,
and deep wide cracks form. The soil volume then expands as it wets
up. This shrink/swell action creates serious engineering problems
and generally prevents formation of distinct, well-developed horizons
in these soils.
Vertisols occupy ~2.4% of the ice-free land area. In the US, they
ccupy ~2.0% of the land area and occur primarily in Texas.
are divided into 6 suborders: Aquerts, Cryerts,
Xererts, Torrerts, Usterts, and Uderts.
Click here for more information
about these suborders. Click here
to view a map of their distribution in the US.