E horizon: is a mineral horizon in the upper part of the soil. Typically present only in forested areas it underlies an O or A horizon. It is a light colored, leached horizon.
Commonly near the surface, underlying an O or A horizon and above a B horizon.
Generally lighter in color than either the overlying organic and/or A horizons and the underlying B horizon.
Formation (in New England soils): Upland soils - weak organic acids strip iron coating from the sand grains and material is leached down into the subsoil. The light color of the E horizon is due to the natural color of the dominant quartz sand grains. Wet-Sandy soils - Tend to have rapidly fluctuating water tables. When the water is at or near the surface, iron is reduced and becomes soluble. When the water drops the iron precipitates out into the underlying B-horizon (organic material is often moved into the B horizon).