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NSSH Amendment 19

November 2010

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 http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/soils/home/?cid=nrcs142p2_054242. Parts 618, 638, and 639 are also on eDirectives at http://policy.nrcs.usda.gov/Default.aspx.


NSSH 602 – National Cooperative Soil Survey Conferences

  1. The bylaws for the North Central Region in exhibit 602-4 were revised.
     

NSSH 608 – Program Management

  1. Part 608.01 has been revised to reflect the realignment of the Soil Survey Division’s national center structure NSSC and the decommissioning of the National Geospatial Development Center in Morgantown, West Virginia as an NRCS national center.
     
  2. Part 608.01 now has guidance for the MLRA Soil Survey Regional Offices (MO) on the role of the Board of Directors.
     
  3. Exhibit 608-7 has new guidance on reporting procedures for acres updated.
     
  4. Additional text clarifying the pertinent MLRA offices was added to exhibit 608-7.
     
  5. The header for MLRA office in exhibit 608-8 has been updated to clarify that the MO is the responsible business area.
     
  6. Changes from an English edit were made throughout.
     

NSSH 618 – Soil Properties and Qualities

  1. Changes from English edits were made throughout.
     
  2. The entire part was converted into the style guide required for documents on eDirectives. This conversion involved deleting the Table of Contents pages, separation into a Subpart A for General Information and Subpart B for Exhibits, changing the outline format in Subpart A, relabeling all exhibits to remove the part number (618), and relabeling all 8 appendices into exhibits.
     
  3. Updated the range of valid entries to agree with NASIS 6.0 metadata reports.
     
  4. Guidance on Bulk Density, one-tenth bar, was deleted from Section 618.6 (previously 618.06).
     
  5. Guidance on Bulk Density, 15 bar, was deleted from Section 618.7 (previously 618.07) and all subsequent sections were renumbered.
     
  6. Deleted obsolete SSL method codes from the guidance for the following chemical properties: calcium carbonate equivalent (618.8), cation exchange capacity (618.9), effective cation exchange capacity (618.17), extractable acidity (618.24), extractable aluminum (618.25), free iron oxides (618.28), gypsum (618.30), particle density (extractable iron discussion in 618.41), sodium adsorption ratio (618.53), subsidence, initial and total (field state bulk density discussion in 618.59), and sum of bases (618.60).
     
  7. Sections 618.0 through 618.3 (previously 618.00 – 618.03) have minor revisions for clarification. Office names are updated in part 618.1 Policy and Responsibilities to match the current MLRA structure.
     
  8. Corrected the first sentence in Section 618.5 D (7) which had been inadvertently truncated in the past.
     
  9. Deleted URL for obsolete version of NASIS data dictionary from section 618.12 and directed users to Subpart B, Exhibits, Section 618.82.
     
  10. Added new drainage class “subaqueous” to Section 618.16 B.
     
  11. Added pedogenic horizons as a type of fragment and added the very angular roundness class and corrected spelling of the well rounded roundness class (deleted the hyphen) in Section 618.27 (Fragments in the Soil) and Section 618.61 (Surface fragments) to agree with NASIS. Added wood fragments (20 mm or larger in diameter) to definition of Section 618.61 to agree with NASIS.
     
  12. Added equation for calculating percent organic carbon in Section 618.39 C.
     
  13. Section 618.46 B (3) on Pore Shape, is updated and corrected to match the SSM, NASIS, and the FBDSS.
     
  14. Section 618.48 A on Restriction Kind, is updated to match NASIS choices.
     
  15. Sections 618.63 (Taxonomic Family Temperature class) and 618.66 (Taxonomic Temperature regime) have been updated to match Soil Taxonomy.
     
  16. Added the Representative Indicator flag “K” to Section 618.67 (Texture, etc.).
     
  17. The exhibit named “Guides for Estimating Risk of Corrosion Potential for Uncoated Steel” is updated to deemphasize drainage class as a critical property. Internal free water occurrence class is added as the critical property used along with general texture group in the first row of the exhibit table. The critical limits for total acidity and conductivity are updated to reflect current research data and NASIS calculations. Three new footnotes were added, including a new reference (Moore and Hallmark, 1987). The location of this exhibit is changed to Subpart B, Exhibits, Section 618.80.
     
  18. The exhibit named “Classification of Soils and Soil-Aggregate Mixtures for the AASHTO System” has corrections in the critical values for the A-3 (% passing #40 sieve) and A-2-5 classes (liquid limit). The location of this exhibit is changed to Subpart B, Exhibits, Section 618.83.
     
  19. Expanded the table in the exhibit named “Potential Frost Action” for ease of use. The location of this exhibit is changed to Subpart B, Exhibits, Section 618.84.
     
  20. Deleted the phrase ‘lithic and paralithic materials’ in section 618.49 D (3), and changed the title of the corresponding exhibit to match the new wording. The location of the exhibit is changed to Subpart B, Exhibits, Section 618.89.
     
  21. Corrected the word ‘flags’ to ‘flagstones’ in the exhibit named “Rock Fragment Modifier of Texture.” The location of this exhibit is changed to Subpart B, Exhibits, Section 618.90.
     
  22. The exhibit named ‘General Guidelines for Assigning Soil Loss Tolerance “T”’ has a major revision to the general guidelines and criteria on T factor. The location of this exhibit is changed to Subpart B, Exhibits, Section 618.93.
     
  23. Added Ustivitrandic as a subgroup to footnote 5 in the exhibit named “Wind Erodibility Groups (WEG) and Index”. The location of this exhibit is changed to Subpart B, Exhibits, Section 618.95.
     

NSSH 620 – Soil Interpretations Rating Guides

  1. Part 620 (dated 1996) was deleted. The policy and general guidance in this part was previously incorporated into Part 617 – Soil Survey Interpretations. The legacy interpretations ratings guides from the 1993 version of part 620 are still available for download, if needed for historical purposes only.
     

NSSH 638 – Soil Data Systems

  1. This part is completely revised from the prior version dated 1996.
     
  2. The entire part was converted into the style guide required for documents on eDirectives. This conversion involved deleting the Table of Contents page.
     
  3. All exhibits were removed from part 638. Exhibit 638-3 was retained, slightly revised, and moved to Part 639, Subpart B, Exhibits, Section 639.10.
     

NSSH 639 – National Soil Information System (NASIS)

  1. This part is completely revised from the prior version dated 1997.
     
  2. The entire part was converted into the style guide required for documents on eDirectives. This conversion involved deleting the Table of Contents page, separation into a Subpart A for General Information and Subpart B for Exhibits, changing the outline format in subpart A, and relabeling exhibit 1 to remove the old part number (638).
     

NSSH 655 – Technical Soil Services

  1. Part 655.00 (Definition) is revised to direct users to the new Technical Soil Services Handbook (TSSH). The URL for the TSSH is added.
     
  2. Part 655.01 (Types of Service) is revised to use the same headings and types of service as used in the TSSH. The guidance for Information Services was shortened because there is a detailed discussion in the TSSH.
     
  3. Part 655.03 (Responsibilities) is shortened and revised to direct users to part 604 of the TSSH.
     
  4. Part 655.04 (Order 1 Soil Surveys) is deleted.
     
  5. Part 655.05 (Marketing) and exhibit 655-1 (Example of a Marketing Plan) are deleted. Guidance on promoting customer awareness (marketing) is retained in part 638 of the TSSH.