Claypan

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In geology, a claypan is a dense, compact, slowly permeable layer in the subsoil having a much higher clay content than the overlying material, from which it is separated by a sharply defined boundary. Claypans are usually hard when dry, and plastic and sticky when wet. They limit or slow the downward movement of water through the soil.

Geology The study of the composition, structure, physical properties, and history of Earths components, and the processes by which they are shaped.

Geology is an earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change over time. Geology can also refer to the study of the solid features of any terrestrial planet or natural satellite such as Mars or the Moon. Modern geology significantly overlaps all other earth sciences, including hydrology and the atmospheric sciences, and so is treated as one major aspect of integrated earth system science and planetary science.

Subsoil layer of soil under the topsoil on the surface of the ground

Subsoil is the layer of soil under the topsoil on the surface of the ground. Like topsoil it is composed of a variable mixture of small particles such as sand, silt and/or clay, but with a much lower percentage of organic matter and humus. Below the subsoil is the substratum, which can be residual bedrock, sediments, or aeolian deposits. As it is lacking in dark humus, subsoil is usually paler in color than the overlying topsoil. It may contain the deeper roots of some plants,such as trees,but a majority of plant roots lie within the topsoil.

Clay A finely-grained natural rock or soil material that combines one or more clay minerals

Clay is a finely-grained natural rock or soil material that combines one or more clay minerals with possible traces of quartz (SiO2), metal oxides (Al2O3, MgO etc.) and organic matter. Geologic clay deposits are mostly composed of phyllosilicate minerals containing variable amounts of water trapped in the mineral structure. Clays are plastic due to particle size and geometry as well as water content, and become hard, brittle and non–plastic upon drying or firing. Depending on the soil's content in which it is found, clay can appear in various colours from white to dull grey or brown to deep orange-red.

Animal Habitats

Claypans provide homes to a variety of flora and fauna. One such species is the Dawson's Burrowing Bee, located in Australia. This species uses claypans as the sites for their underground nests, where individuals will they lay their broods post-mating.

<i>Amegilla dawsoni</i> species of insect

Amegilla dawsoni, sometimes called the Dawson's burrowing bee is a species of bee that nests by the thousands in arid claypans in Western Australia. It is a long tongued bee, of the tribe Anthophorini and genus Amegilla, the second largest genus in Anthophorini.

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