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1. A layer of hard subsoil or clay. Also called caliche.
2. Hard, unbroken ground.
3. A foundation; bedrock.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Physical Geography) a hard impervious layer of clay below the soil, resistant to drainage and root growth
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



1. any layer of firm detrital matter, as of clay, underlying soft soil.
2. hard, unbroken ground.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


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.
1001 Words and Phrases You Never Knew You Didn’t Know by W.R. Runyan Copyright © 2011 by W.R. Runyan
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The puddled-flooded practice creates hardpan which is imperative to provide standing water condition but beside breaking this hardpan upcoming wheat root proliferation hindered due to problem of suffocation (Sharma et al., 2003).
While tillers are a great way to get your seed bed prepared, overuse can create a layer of hardpan soil.
The other side is not very productive land; it's got hardpan. It's also not very good for putting up houses.
Scraper boxes are king when it comes to hardpan and clay.
Back then, the property was 17 acres of wild, untamed plants and unworkable hardpan clay soil.
Though maybe it's the canal, misting with sunup and grown salty from runoff escaping this alkaline hardpan. But still: I smell ocean.
Breaking up the hardpan and mixing the soil likely resulted in greater crop residue input at a depth of 20-30cm under the RUR, RUU and UUU systems than under RRR.
From well drilling records available at the University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS), the subsurface geology between Douglas Lake and Burt Lake contains poorly sorted layers of sand, gravel, and sandy-gravel separated by layers of hardpan clay of various thicknesses.
I passed a big hardpan turn-out in front of a cattle gate and holding pen.
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.
Soil characteristics that may change across a soil series include effective rooting depth, depth to bedrock or hardpan, soil texture and depth of distinct soil horizons.