- 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 vegetationand land usepatterns. 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 livestockand what type of management might be required. An architector engineermight 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 planningsuch 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 sizeand distribution, plasticity, permeability, available water capacity, shrink-swell potential, corrosionproperties, 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).
*Soil Survey of
Lubbock County, Texaspublished by the United States Department of AgricultureSoil Conservation Service in cooperation with the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, 1979.
FAO soil classification
USDA soil taxonomy
* [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.
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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
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