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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 ?
Tillage practices are generally used to prepare seedbed and to control weeds but frequent use of tillage practices accelerate the degradation of soil resources and creates plough pan.
For example their impact on the current tillage-based agriculture with no soil cover, low soil carbon and severe plough pan, a dominant approach to production intensification.
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.