A dense compact layer in the subsoil having a much higher clay content than the overlaying material from which it is separated by a sharply defined boundary; formed by downward movement of clay or by synthesis of clay in place during soil formation. Claypans are usually hard when dry and plastic and sticky when wet. They usually impede the movement of water and air. cf. hardpan

Society for Range Management. 1998. Glossary of terms used in range management, fourth edition. Edited by the Glossary Update Task Group, Thomas E. Bedell, Chairman. Used with permission.