Skip

Beaches

Soil Map Unit Description from the RI Soil Survey Report (2010 Update)

Ba - Beaches, sandy surface (2010 Update for the RI Coastal Zone Soil Survey Phase I - please download the latest copy of the spatial data).

These nearly level to gently sloping areas are mapped along the shoreline of the ocean, bays, and coastal lagoons. Where mapped along the south shore of Washington County from Point Judith to Westerly, this unit consists of beach deposits of medium to coarse sand on the surface, some areas have cobbly and gravelly surfaces and following storm events can be completely covered with cobble. Where mapped along the remainder of RI this unit is undifferentiated and can include cobbly, bouldery, ledge, and peat in the surface.

Beaches consists of a gently sloping zone of unconsolidated material, extending landward from the low-water line to the place where there is a definite change in material or physiographic form (such as a cliff) or to the line of vegetation (usually the effective limit of the highest tide). Beaches are defined as: (a) shore of a body of water, formed and washed by waves or tides, usually covered by sand or gravel; (b) the relatively thick and temporary accumulation of loose water-borne material (usually well-sorted sand and pebbles) accompanied by mud, cobbles, boulders, and smoothed rock and shell fragments, that is in active transit along, or deposited on, the shore zone between the limits of low water and high water.

Beaches are unprotected from the ocean and are subject to severe erosion during storms. Slopes range from 0 to 8 percent.

Included with this unit in mapping are small areas of Udipsamments undulating (areas outside of the south shore of Washington County), Hooksan soils on the vegetated fore dunes, Succotash soils on back barriers, rock outcrops, and Matunuck soils on marshes. Included areas make up about 5 percent of this map unit.

Beaches are used intensively for summer recreation activities. They are not suitable for woodland wildlife habitat or openland wildlife habitat because of daily inundations. The areas are suited to shore birds, shellfish, and crabs. Capability subclass VIIIw; woodland group not assigned.

An area of Beaches, sandy surface
Photo above: Example of an area of Beaches, sandy surface (Hooksan soils to left)

Bax - Beaches, bouldery surface (2010 Update for the RI Coastal Zone Soil Survey Phase I - please download the latest copy of the spatial data).

These nearly level to gently sloping areas are mapped along the shoreline of the ocean, bays, and coastal lagoons along the south shore of Washington County from Point Judith to Westerly. This unit consists of beach deposits with surfaces predominately covered by boulder to stone size (> 10 inches diameter) rock fragments adjacent to till headlands. Typically the bouldery surface extends past the mean-low water mark into the subaqueous soils (Napatree soils).

Beaches consists of: (a) gently sloping zone of unconsolidated material, extending landward from the low-water line to the place where there is a definite change in material or physiographic form (such as a cliff) or to the line of permanent vegetation (usually the effective limit of the highest tide); a shore of a body of water, formed and washed by waves or tides, covered by stone and boulders; (b) the relatively thick and temporary accumulation of loose water-borne material (usually well-sorted sand and pebbles) accompanied by mud, cobbles, boulders, and smoothed rock and shell fragments, that is in active transit along, or deposited on, the shore zone between the limits of low water and high water.

Beaches are unprotected from the ocean and are subject to severe erosion during storms. Slopes range from 0 to 8 percent. The surface is covered by rock fragments greater than 10 inches in diameter from 15 to 100 percent of the surface.

Included with this unit in mapping are small areas of Hooksan soils on the vegetated fore dunes, Succotash soils on back barriers, rock outcrops, and Matunuck soils on marshes. Included areas make up about 5 percent of this map unit.

Beaches, bouldery surface is used intensively for summer recreational activities such as surf fishing and surfing. They are not suitable for woodland wildlife habitat or openland wildlife habitat because of daily inundations. The areas are suited to shore birds, shellfish, and crabs. Capability subclass VIIIw; woodland group not assigned.

An area of beaches, bouldery surface.
An area of Beaches, bouldery surface.

Baz - Beaches, cobbly surface (2010 Update for the RI Coastal Zone Soil Survey Phase I - please download the latest copy of the spatial data).

These nearly level to gently sloping areas are mapped along the shoreline of the ocean, bays, and coastal lagoons along the south shore of Washington County from Point Judith to Westerly. This unit consists of beach deposits with surfaces predominately covered by cobble to gravel size (2 to 10 inches diameter) rock fragments adjacent to till headlands, outwash and ice-contact deposits. Typically the cobbly surface extends past the mean-low water mark into the subaqueous soils.

Beaches consists of: (a) gently sloping zone of unconsolidated material, extending landward from the low-water line to the place where there is a definite change in material or physiographic form (such as a cliff) or to the line of permanent vegetation (usually the effective limit of the highest tide); a shore of a body of water, formed and washed by waves or tides, covered by cobbles and gravel; (b) the relatively thick and temporary accumulation of loose water-borne material (usually well-sorted sand and pebbles) accompanied by mud, cobbles, boulders, and smoothed rock and shell fragments, that is in active transit along, or deposited on, the shore zone between the limits of low water and high water.

Beaches are unprotected from the ocean and are subject to severe erosion during storms. Slopes range from 0 to 8 percent. The surface is covered by rock fragments that are dominantly 2 to 10 inches in diameter from 15 to 100 percent of the surface.

Included with this unit in mapping are small areas of Hooksan soils on the vegetated fore dunes, Succotash soils on back barriers, rock outcrops, and Matunuck soils on marshes. Included areas make up about 5 percent of this map unit.

Beaches cobbly surface used intensively for summer recreation activities such as surf fishing and surfing. They are not suitable for woodland wildlife habitat or openland wildlife habitat because of daily inundations. The areas are well suited to shore birds, shellfish, and crabs. Capability subclass VIIIw; woodland group not assigned..

An area of Beaches, cobble surface
An area of Beaches, cobbly surface.

Be - Beaches, Undifferentiated (2012 Soil Survey Update)

This map unit is used for beaches along Narragansett Bay that have not been re-mapped as part of the RI Coastal Zone Soil Survey. These beach areas typically consist of a mixture of sandy, cobbly, and bouldery beach units, bedrock, and buried tidal marsh soils.

UPDATE: The Coastal Zone of Rhode Island is currently being updated and re-mapped, for more information on this update visit: www.mapcoast.org