Soil survey


Soil survey

Soil survey, or soil mapping, is the process of classifying soil types and other soil properties in a given area and geo-encoding such information. It applies the principles of soil science, and draws heavily from geomorphology, theories of soil formation, physical geography, and analysis of vegetation and land use patterns. Primary data for the soil survey are acquired by field sampling, supported by remote sensing, (principally aerial photography).

The term "soil survey" may also be used as a noun to describe the published results. In the United States, these surveys have been published in book form for individual counties by the National Cooperative Soil Survey. The information is used by farmers and ranchers to help determine whether a particular soil type is suited for crops or livestock and what type of management might be required. An architect or engineer might use the engineering properties of a soil to determine whether or not it was suitable for a certain type of construction.

Typical information in a published county soil survey includes the following:
*a brief overview of the county's geography
*a general soil map with a brief description of each of the major soil types found in the county along with their characteristics
*detailed aerial photographs with specific soil types outlined and indexed
*photographs of some of the typical soils found in the area
*tables containing general information about the various soils such as total area, comparisons of production of typical crops and common range plants. They also include extensive interpretations for Land use planning such as limitations for dwellings with and without basements, shallow excavations, small commercial buildings, septic tank adsorptions, suitability for development, construction, and water management.
*tables containing specific physical, chemical, and engineering properties such as soil depth, soil texture, particle size and distribution, plasticity, permeability, available water capacity, shrink-swell potential, corrosion properties, and erodibility.

In recent years, much of this information has been published on the Internet. Currently, soils data can be viewed at a free website hosted by the NRCS at: http://websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov/app/ After clicking the "Start WSS" button, First, click the "Address" tab and type in your home address and hit the "view" button, go to the interactive map and hit one of the "AOI" buttons and put a box around the area you are interested in and then click the "Soil Map" tab on the left. A soil map of your selected area will come up as well as a list of the soil series and their descriptions. Clicking the "Layers" tab will allow you to select the data you would like displayed on the interactive map.

Soil survey information can be added most easily to a geographic information system (GIS) using the [http://soildataviewer.nrcs.usda.gov Soil Data Viewer).

References

*Soil Survey of Lubbock County, Texas published by the United States Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service in cooperation with the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, 1979.

See also

*FAO soil classification
*USDA soil taxonomy
*Pedometrics

External links

* [http://www.itc.nl/~rossiter/research/rsrch_ss.html A Compendium of On-Line Soil Survey Information]
* [http://websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov/app/ NRCS Web Soil Survey] Inventory of the soil resource across the U.S.
* [http://soildatamart.nrcs.usda.gov/ NRCS Soil Data Mart]
* [http://soils.usda.gov/ NRCS Helping People Understand Soils]
* [http://casoilresource.lawr.ucdavis.edu/ California Online Soil Survey]
* [http://texashistory.unt.edu/browse/collection/TXSS/ Texas Soil Surveys] , hosted by the [http://texashistory.unt.edu/ Portal to Texas History]
* Soil Maps of the world [http://eusoils.jrc.it/esdb_archive/EuDASM/indexes/access.htm European Digital Archive on the Soil Maps of the world]
* [http://www.sc.edu/library/digital/collections/soilsurvey.html Historical Soil Surveys of South Carolina] at the University of South Carolina Library's Digital Collections Page.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • soil survey — noun : a systematic study of the soil of an area including classification and mapping of the properties, crop adaptations, and distribution of various soil types …   Useful english dictionary

  • soil survey — обследование почвы (изыскательские работы) …   Pipeline dictionary

  • National Cooperative Soil Survey — From a Report of Bureau of Soils, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1923. The National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS) in the United States is a nation wide partnership of federal, regional, state, and local agencies and institutions. This… …   Wikipedia

  • Soil classification — deals with the systematic categorization of soils based on distinguishing characteristics as well as criteria that dictate choices in use. Overview Soil classification is a dynamic subject, from the structure of the system itself, to the… …   Wikipedia

  • Soil science — is the study of soil as a natural resource on the surface of the earth including soil formation, classification and mapping; physical, chemical, biological, and fertility properties of soils; and these properties in relation to the use and… …   Wikipedia

  • Soil map — is a map showing distribution of soil types and/or soil properties (soil pH, textures, organic matter, depths of horizons etc.) in the area of interest. It is typically the end result of a soil survey inventory, i.e. soil survey. Soil maps are… …   Wikipedia

  • Soil horizon — Soil samples illustrating horizons (subsoil on right) A soil horizon is a specific layer in the land area that is parallel to the soil surface and possesses physical characteristics which differ from the layers above and beneath …   Wikipedia

  • Soil morphology — is the field observable attributes of the soil within the various soil horizons and the description of the kind and arrangement of the horizons. [cite book | last = Buol | first = Stanley W. | authorlink = | coauthors = Southard, Randal J.,… …   Wikipedia

  • Survey — may refer to:Geography*Surveying, the technique and science of measuring positions and distances on Earth *Aerial survey, a method of collecting information using aerial photography *Cadastral survey, used to document land ownership, by the… …   Wikipedia

  • Soil functions — are general capabilities of soils that are important for various agricultural, environmental, nature protection, landscape architecture and urban applications. Six key soil functions are: [cite book | author = Blum, WEH | date = 1993 | title =… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.