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 Library has 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.

Related Content

Filter Total Items: 19
Image: Soil in Test Tube
March 1, 2012

Soil in Test Tube

Amount of soil (about 200 mg) from which Geomyces destructans was cultured. This shows the small amount of soil needed to harbor live fungus and the threat that humans might pose in moving it around from cave to cave on their gear, boots, and clothing.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Image: Soil Core Sample #1
August 1, 2011

Soil Core Sample #1

Soil core obtained from existing goose grazing lawn along the Smith River in the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area of the National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska.  The buried layer of peat beneath goose grazing lawn demonstrates that vegetation change has occurred in this area.

video thumbnail: USGS Public Lecture Series: Out of Africa--Dust in the Wind
October 6, 2009

USGS Public Lecture Series: Out of Africa--Dust in the Wind

Every year, billions of tons of fine desert dust from the Saharan Desert are transported thousands of miles through the atmosphere to the Americas, Europe and the Near East. Living microorganisms and chemical contaminants such as pesticides and metals are carried along with the dust. What biological and chemical contaminants are hitchhiking with the dust and how might

Attribution:
Image: Soil Sampling
June 1, 2009

Soil Sampling

JoAnn Holloway(USGS) and Ron Wiederholt(NDSU) collecting soil samples.

Image: Arid Soils
September 12, 2005

Arid Soils

Jim Crowley taking spectral measurements of arid soil with a field spectrometer.

Soil profile in dryland region. The top of the horizon is a light brown and the bottom half of the horizon is darker in color.
November 30, 2000

Soil profile in dryland region

Soil profile in the Mancos shale near Moab, UT.

Sampling soil for a study of the migration of palliative chemicals used for dust abatement, Nevada

Sampling soil for a study of the migration of palliative chemicals

Sampling soil for a study of the migration of palliative chemicals used for dust abatement, Nevada.