(redirected from Plough pan)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.


1. A layer of hard subsoil or clay. Also called caliche.
2. Hard, unbroken ground.
3. A foundation; bedrock.


(Physical Geography) a hard impervious layer of clay below the soil, resistant to drainage and root growth



1. any layer of firm detrital matter, as of clay, underlying soft soil.
2. hard, unbroken ground.


A compacted layer of soil that is difficult for roots or water to penetrate. It often forms just below the depth of plowing, when plowing, year after year, is always to the same depth.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.hardpan - crust or layer of hard subsoil encrusted with calcium-carbonate occurring in arid or semiarid regions
dirt, soil - the part of the earth's surface consisting of humus and disintegrated rock
References in periodicals archive ?
The method is suitable in drought as well as flood conditions since with the plough pan broken, the water now can seep into the soil like a sponge.
This soil is a strongly self-mulching, medium to heavy cracking clay, with >30 years cultivation history and a well-established subsurface restrictive plough pan layer (Powell et al.
1 m into the plough pan layer (after pre-wetting, for treatment (iv)), similar to the original techniques used by White et al.