Topics: Soil, Pedology, Septic tank Pages: 4 (765 words) Published: March 5, 2013
|Activity 3.4.4 Web Soil Survey |


The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service operates a National Cooperative Soil Survey. The survey provides online access to soil data, maps, and information for more that ninety-five percent of the nation’s counties. Although an on-site soils investigation is often needed, the Web Soil Survey information can be useful when researching the existing soil conditions on a site.

In this activity you will use the Web Soil Survey to gather information about the soil conditions on the Keystone Library site.


Engineering notebook
Internet access
USCS Soil Classification Chart
Plasticity Chart


The following website contains the information necessary to complete the questions below and to research the properties of soil on your site.

Use your engineering notebook to respond to the following questions. Rewrite the question in your notebook.

Start the Web Soil Survey by depressing the START WSS button.

Use the navigation bar to Navigate By… State and County. Define your site as an Area of Interest using the AOI button on the Area of Interest (AOI) tab.


Choose the Soil Data Explorer tab.

Choose the Intro to Soils tab. Research the information to answer the following questions in your notebook.

• What is soil?

Soil is a naturally occurring mixture of mineral and organic ingredients with a definite form, structure, and composition. The exact composition of soil changes from one location to another. • What are the four classifications of mineral particles in soil?

clay, silt, sand, gravel, stones
• What other types of matter can be included in soil?

Water, air, and organic matter
• How is soil...
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