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Profile photograph of an Andisol

The central concept of Andisols is that of soils dominated by short-range-order minerals. They include weakly weathered soils with much volcanic glass as well as more strongly weathered soils. Hence the content of volcanic glass is one of the characteristics used in defining andic soil properties.

Materials with andic soil properties comprise 60 percent or more of the thickness between the mineral soil surface or the top of an organic layer with andic soil properties and a depth of 60 cm or a root limiting layer if shallower.