RESULTS OF A SOILS INVENTORY AND LANDFORM MAPPING AT MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK
A total of 813 soil observations were made during the soil survey; Andisols and Spodosols compose a majority of the park with smaller areas of Inceptisols, Entisols, Histosols and Gelisols. This survey created 36 new soil series endemic to MORA. Soil classification within the park is largely determined by the presence or absence of tephra. Across landform type and elevation, volcanic glass is the dominant material comprising soils. The dominant process of soil formation at lower elevations is podsolization while melanization is dominant in sub-alpine parkland; however unstable landforms in all elevation zones (mass movements, floodplains, debris cones) interrupt this pattern. Soil profiles at lower elevations along valley walls and debris aprons were typically elluvial/illuvial sequences in volcanic ash over colluvium and residuum. Sub-alpine parklands were composed of organic-rich layers along with interbeds of numerous tephra deposits. Both the landform and soils map have application to land management within MORA, including but not limited to, road and trail management, native plant restoration, geological hazard analysis and habitat suitability for a variety of species.