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State Soils

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What is a State Soil?

A state soil is a soil that has special significance to a particular state. Each state in the United States has selected a state soil, twenty of which have been legislatively established. These “Official State Soils” share the same level of distinction as official state flowers and birds. Also, representative soils have been selected for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Areas with similar soils are grouped and labeled as soil series because their similar origins, chemical, and physical properties cause the soils to perform similarly for land use purposes. A soil series name generally is derived from a town or landmark in or near the area where the soil was first recognized.

Each series consists of soils having major horizons that are similar in color, texture, structure, reaction, consistence, mineral and chemical composition, and arrangement in the soil profile. A soil profile is the sequence of natural layers, or horizons, in a soil. It extends from the surface downward to unconsolidated material. Most soils have three major horizons, called the surface horizon, the subsoil, and the substratum.

The surface layer has the maximum accumulation of organic matter and is the horizon of maximum leaching of clay minerals and of iron and aluminum oxides. Some soils have a subsurface layer below the surface layer.

The subsoil, which underlies the surface layer or subsurface layer, is the horizon of maximum accumulation of clay minerals, iron and aluminum oxides and other compounds. These compounds may have been leached from the surface layer and redeposited in the subsoil, or may have formed in place. Most likely, they occur as a result of a combination of both of these processes. The subsoil commonly has blocky or prismatic structure and generally is firmer and lighter in color than the surface layer.

The substratum is below the surface layer and subsoil. It consists of material that has been somewhat modified by weathering but is relatively unchanged by soil-forming processes.

Representative and State Soils

Alabama - Bama (PDF; 398 KB)

Alaska - Tanana (PDF; 634 KB)

Arizona - Casa Grande (PDF; 391 KB)

Arkansas - Stuttgart (PDF; 74 KB)

California - San Joaquin (PDF; 136 KB)

Colorado - Seitz (PDF; 101 KB)

Connecticut - Windsor (PDF; 104 KB)

Delaware - Greenwich (PDF; 364 KB)

District of Columbia - Sunnyside (PDF; 975 KB)

Florida - Myakka (PDF; 89 KB)

Georgia - Tifton (PDF; 89 KB)

Hawaii - Hilo (PDF; 74 KB)

Idaho - Threebear (PDF; 94 KB)

Illinois - Drummer (PDF; 69 KB)

Indiana - Miami (PDF; 86 KB)

Iowa - Tama (PDF; 403 KB)

Kansas - Harney (PDF; 68 KB)

Kentucky - Crider (PDF; 75 KB)

Louisiana - Ruston (PDF; 102 KB)

Maine - Chesuncook (PDF; 87 KB)

Maryland - Sassafras (PDF; 85 KB)

Massachusetts - Paxton (PDF; 87 KB)

Michigan - Kalkaska (PDF; 81 KB)

Minnesota - Lester (PDF; 123 KB)

Mississippi - Natchez (PDF; 90 KB)

Missouri - Menfro (PDF; 83 KB)

Montana - Scobey (PDF; 376 KB)

Nebraska - Holdrege (PDF; 341 KB)

Nevada - Orovada (PDF; 102 KB)

New Hampshire - Marlow (PDF; 87 KB)

New Jersey - Downer (PDF; 96 KB)

New Mexico - Penistaja (PDF; 129 KB)

New York - Honeoye (PDF; 91 KB)

North Carolina - Cecil (PDF; 338 KB)

North Dakota - Williams (PDF; 85 KB)

Ohio - Miamian (PDF; 91 KB)

Oklahoma - Port (PDF; 394 KB)

Oregon - Jory (PDF; 329 KB)

Pennsylvania - Hazleton (PDF; 93 KB)

Puerto Rico - Bayamon (PDF; 88 KB)

Rhode Island - Narragansett (PDF; 192 KB)

South Carolina -  Lynchburg (PDF; 361 KB)

South Dakota - Houdek (PDF; 87 KB)

Tennessee - Dickson (PDF; 97 KB)

Texas - Houston Black (PDF; 398 KB)

Utah - Mivida (PDF; 91 KB)

Vermont - Tunbridge (PDF; 315 KB)

Virgin Islands - Victory (PDF; 97 KB)

Virginia - Pamunkey (PDF; 115 KB)

Washington - Tokul (PDF; 123 KB)

West Virginia - Monongahela (PDF; 86 KB)

Wisconsin - Antigo (PDF; 385 KB)

Wyoming - Forkwood (PDF; 129 KB)