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Where can I obtain soil surveys?

A soil survey is the systematic description, classification, and mapping of soils in an area. They are published by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), formerly known as the Soil Conservation Service.

NRCS soil surveys are available from several sources:

  • Some are on the NRCS website.
  • Published soil surveys can be found at some libraries or borrowed through interlibrary loan.
  • Surveys might be available from the state NRCS offices.
  • Online GIS data of the Gridded Soil Survey Geographic Database is here.
  • The USGS Libraries have a majority of the soil surveys in our collection, available to the public through interlibrary loan. 

The USGS does have a low-density soil map for the conterminous U.S. (geochemical and mineralogical data) and a National Geochemical Database for soil that includes a small number of sites in Alaska and outside the U.S.