EPA Environmental Dataset Gateway
Jump to main content
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Soil Survey Geographic (SSURGO) database - Hydric Rating
This data set is a digital soil survey and generally is the most detailed level of soil geographic data developed by the National Cooperative Soil Survey. The information was prepared by digitizing maps, by compiling information onto a planimetric correct base and digitizing, or by revising digitized maps using remotely sensed and other information. This data set consists of georeferenced digital map data and computerized attribute data. The map data are in a soil survey area extent format and include a detailed, field verified inventory of soils and miscellaneous areas that normally occur in a repeatable pattern on the landscape and that can be cartographically shown at the scale mapped. A special soil features layer (point and line features) is optional. This layer displays the location of features too small to delineate at the mapping scale, but they are large enough and contrasting enough to significantly influence use and management. The soil map units are linked to attributes in the National Soil Information System relational database, which gives the proportionate extent of the component soils and their properties. The Hydric rating indicates the proportion of map units that meets the criteria for hydric soils. Map units are composed of one or more map unit components or soil types, each of which is rated as hydric soil or not hydric. Map units that are made up dominantly of hydric soils may have small areas of minor nonhydric components in the higher positions on the landform, and map units that are made up dominantly of nonhydric soils may have small areas of minor hydric components in the lower positions on the landform. Each map unit is designated as "hydric," "predominantly hydric," "partially hydric," "predominantly nonhydric," or "nonhydric" depending on the rating of its respective components and the percentage of each component within the map unit. "Hydric" means that all components listed for a given map unit are rated as being hydric. "Predominantly hydric" means components that comprise 66 to 99 percent of the map unit are rated as hydric. "Partially hydric" means components that comprise 33 to 66 percent of the map unit are rated as hydric. "Predominantly nonhydric" means components that comprise up to 33 percent of the map unit are rated as hydric. "Nonhydric" means that none of the components are rated as hydric. The assumption here is that all components of the map unit are rated as hydric or nonhydric in the underlying database. A "Not rated or not available" map unit rating is displayed when none of the components within a map unit have been rated. In Web Soil Survey, the Summary by Map Unit table that is displayed below the map pane contains a column named 'Rating'. In this column the percentage of each map unit that is classified as being hydric is displayed. Hydric soils are defined by the National Technical Committee for Hydric Soils (NTCHS) as soils that formed under conditions of saturation, flooding, or ponding long enough during the growing season to develop anaerobic conditions in the upper part (Federa l Register, 1994). Under natural conditions, these soils are either saturated or inundated long enough during the growing season to support the growth and reproduction of hydrophytic vegetation. The NTCHS definition identifies general soil properties that are associated with wetness. In order to determine whether a specific soil is a hydric soil or nonhydric soil, however, more specific information, such as information about the depth and duration of the water table, is needed. Thus, criteria that identify those estimated soil properties unique to hydric soils have been established (Federal Register, 2002). These criteria are used to identify map unit components that normally are associated with wetlands. The criteria used are selected estimated soil properties that are described in "Soil Taxonomy" (Soil Survey Staff, 1999) and "Keys to Soil Taxonomy" (Soil Survey Staff, 2006) and in the "Soil Survey Manual" (Soil Survey Division Staff, 1993). If soils are wet enough for a long enough period of time to be considered hydric, they should exhibit certain properties that can be easily observed in the field. These visible properties are indicators of hydric soils. The indicators used to make onsite determinations of hydric soils are specified in "Field Indicators of Hydric Soils in the United States" (Hurt and Vasilas, 2006).
SSURGO depicts information about the kinds and distribution of soils on the landscape. The soil map and data used in the SSURGO product were prepared by soil scientists as part of the National Cooperative Soil Survey.
Time Period of Content
West Bounding Longitude:
East Bounding Longitude:
North Bounding Latitude:
South Bounding Latitude:
Although these data have been processed successfully on a computer system at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, no warranty expressed or implied is made by the Agency regarding the utility of the data on any other system, nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will warrant the delivery of this product in computer readable format, and will offer appropriate adjustment of credit when the product is determined unreadable by correctly adjusted computer input peripherals, or when the physical medium is delivered in damaged condition. Request for adjustment of credit must be made within 90 days from the date of this shipment from the ordering site. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, nor any of its agencies are liable for misuse of the data, for damage, for transmission of viruses, or for computer contamination through the distribution of these data sets. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, should be acknowledged as the data source in products derived from these data. This data set is not designed for use as a primary regulatory tool in permitting or citing decisions, but may be used as a reference source. This is public information and may be interpreted by organizations, agencies, units of government, or others based on needs; however, they are responsible for the appropriate application. Federal, State, or local regulatory bodies are not to reassign to the Natural Resources Conservation Service any authority for the decisions that they make. The Natural Resources Conservation Service will not perform any evaluations of these maps for purposes related solely to State or local regulatory programs. Photographic or digital enlargement of these maps to scales greater than at which they were originally mapped can cause misinterpretation of the data. If enlarged, maps do not show the small areas of contrasting soils that could have been shown at a larger scale. The depicted soil boundaries, interpretations, and analysis derived from them do not eliminate the need for onsite sampling, testing, and detailed study of specific sites for intensive uses. Thus, these data and their interpretations are intended for planning purposes only. Digital data files are periodically updated. Files are dated, and users are responsible for obtaining the latest version of the data.
soil survey, soils, Soil Survey Geographic, SSURGO
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
mailing and physical address
800 672 5559
Metadata Reference Information
Metadata Date Stamp:
Metadata Standard Name:
Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata
Metadata Standard Version: