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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 ?
Canizares, from Malaga, Spain, won on the second extra hole when the 27-year old Hinton from Oxford, England, pitched short from a hardpan and chipped about 15 feet past the cup.
Where the need exists, funds are requested for additional sanitary /shower facilities, additional campsites, expanded (or additional) playgrounds, and the addition of electric, sewer and water for campsites and the re-vegetation of campsite hardpan areas.
Hardpan will not soak up water and water will puddle up; root rot becomes a problem.
If you plan to plant deep-rooting plants such as carrots (some varieties) and parsnips, prepare the soil deeply, remove stones and break up any layers of hardpan to allow for deep root penetration.
The focus of settlement in the Hardpan era was the Indus basin; in the early Vedic period it was Punjab; then it moved eastwards, and by the end of the Vedic age the entire Gang etic basin consisted of eleven of the sixteen mahajanapadas and their capital cities.
These two students spent every spare moment they had excavating plants of this species out of the typical hardpan limestone pavement that characterizes the Andros landscape.
A hardpan ranging from 6-40 cm in thickness and extending to the surface of the soil developed in 12 of the pots with [D.
As such, the observed inceptisols were expected to be acidic, possess weak horizon development, and contain a hardpan, characteristics verified in the field.
Many apparently well-drained areas are underlain by humate, a hardpan which may perch the water table and provide the moisture moles and earthworms require.
Shay Church's full-scale elephants and whales derive much of their emotional and political force from the changes the clay undergoes in drying: its deep gloss grows mottled, then dusty; it cracks and scales like hardpan desert against its supporting armature.
Testing of the main main magnetic anomaly was prevented by a siliceous hardpan.
The distinctive habitat occupied by Phylloglossum can be characterized as ephemeral bogs, shallow depressions of acid sand, underlain by a hardpan, that accumulate rainwater during the winter months but evaporate as spring progresses into summer.