NSSH Amendment 18

October 2009

This is a summary of changes to the National Soil Survey Handbook (NSSH). The official copy of the NSSH is in HTML format and MSWord files at

NSSH 608 – Program Management

  1. Part 608 has been extensively revised to incorporate the new MLRA program management structure as well as changes in NASIS 6.0 dealing with goals and progress reporting.
  2. Part 608.03 (Soil Survey Area Names and Symbols) is deleted and content is merged into a revised part 608.02. All parts below 608.03 except the exhibits are renumbered.
  3. Part 608.08 (Soil Survey Schedule) is both renumbered and renamed 608.07 “Goals and Progress”.
  4. Exhibit 608-7 Soil Survey Schedule Guidelines has been extensively revised and is renamed to “Goal and Progress Reporting Guidelines”. Exhibit 608-8 Soil Survey Business Area Responsibilities has been extensively revised and renamed to “Business Area Responsibilities for Goals and Progress”.

NSSH 610 – Updating Soil Surveys

  1. Substantial revisions to content are made to all subparts to reflect the new MLRA program management structure.
  2. Exhibit 610-1 (Sample Map Unit Evaluation Worksheet) has been replaced with a new draft. Exhibit 610-2 (Sample Soil Survey Evaluation Worksheet) has been removed and replaced with a sample of a NASIS report and is now named “Sample Evaluation Information for Long-Range Planning”. Exhibit 610-3 (Example of a Soil Survey Update Implementation Guide) has revisions for content.
  3. Minor formatting changes and additions to 610.01, 610.06, and 610.07.

NSSH 617 – Soil Survey Interpretations

  1. Part 617 has additional guidance in 617.01 (b) on populating major and minor components.

NSSH 618 – Soil Properties and Qualities

  1. Revisions are made to 618.02, 618.14, 618.15, 618.32, 618.33, 618.34, 618.35, and 618.49. These changes are intended to provide clearer guidance for populating component horizons and are based on discussions from an MO Leader Meeting in August 2008.
  2. Updated hyperlinks for 618.03 (NASIS) and 618.36 (Hydrologic Group).
  3. Part 618.28 Fragments in the Soil and part 618.62 Surface Fragments are revised to change the non-flat fragment class names from pebbles to gravel.
  4. Minor corrections 618.64, 618.65, and 618.68 for content. Additions to 618.66 and 618.67 for clarity.
  5. Added “coarse gypsum material” and “fine gypsum material” to terms in-lieu-of texture.

NSSH 627 – Legend Development and Data Collection

  1. Revision to 627.04 to delete mention of Unnamed soil map unit components and to update guidance on naming minor soil components.
  2. Exhibit 627-5 Feature and Symbol Legend for Soil Survey, NRCS-SOI-37A. The descriptions to 20 of the 28 standard landform and miscellaneous surface features (spot symbols) shown on page 2 of this exhibit are revised. These changes ensure consistency in the descriptions of the features between the NSSH, the prewritten glossaries used in soil survey manuscripts, and the online glossary used in the Web Soil Survey application.

NSSH 630 – Benchmark Soils

  1. Revised to reflect work by NCSS Standards Committee at Las Cruces Conference.
    1. Revised definition.
    2. Revised section on Responsibilities, including addition of MLRA SSO.
    3. Expanded discussion listing criteria to consider.
    4. Revised exhibit for sample narrative record.