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NSSH Amendment 24

April 2013

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

Part 629 – Glossary of Landform and Geologic Terms

  1. Editorial revisions to sections 629.00 Definition and Purpose and 629.01 Responsibilities.
  2. Section 629.02 Definitions, (a) Reference Codes has several changes to alphabetize the references, add one new reference, and remove 9 others not used in the glossary.
  3. Section 629.02 (c) Glossary, has some new terms added, some significant changes in existing terms (spelling or definition), and some minor editorial changes in existing terms. The list of changes is shown in the following table. For more detail, see the revised glossary. Several terms were moved to alphabetically resort the glossary.
New terms appearing in the glossary Change in spelling or definition of terms Minor editorial changes to terms
andesitic lahar deposit aa lava ash
anthroscape aa lava flow ash flow
artifact ablation till avalanche chute
ash field barrier beach backswamp deposit
bauxite barrier beach [relict] bar (landform and micro.)
bioswale basal till beveled base
breached anticline bay [geom.] block field
breaklands block [volcanic] block glide
canyon wall bomb [volcanic] block lava
composite cone bowl block lava flow
coral limestone burial mound block stream
diatomaceous earth – [Soil Taxonomy] buried soil blue rock
diatomite chimney caldera
dissected breaklands cinders canyon bench
dissected plateau coprogenous earth caprock
fold-thrust hills cove [water] cat clay
gypsite crater [volcanic] channel
headwall – [anthropogenic] cut chenier
highwall diatomaceous earth – [geology] chenier plain
human artifact diatreme circular gilgai
interfurrow dike cirque headwall
lagoon [relict] epiclastic collapsed outwash plain
lahar deposit fan piedmont complex landslide
lakebed [relict] first bottom coulee
lava dome flow till cove
limonite glaciokarst creep
longshore bar granitoid crevasse
microslope gulf debris avalanche
nearshore zone gut [channel] debris fall
nearshore zone [relict] gut [valley] debris flow
plowpan head slope debris slide
pluvial lake [relict] human-transported material debris spread
polder ice pressure ridge debris topple
rock anhydrite igneous rock desert pavement
rock gypsum intermediate position detritus
rock halite lagoon diamicton
sabkha lahar drainage pattern
scour channel lakebed dump
subglacial flow till lapilli earth dike
supraglacial flow till lava earth hummock
terrace remnant levee earth spread
tillage mound linear gilgai earth topple
volcanic block local relief earthflow
volcanic bomb lodgment till erratic
volcanic crater longshore bar [relict] fall
water-lain moraine maar fissure vent
wave-worked till plain mangrove swamp flatwoods
  melt-out till flow
  mesa glacial-valley floor
  meta-stable slope herbaceous peat
  microhigh kame terrace
  microlow landslide
  microrelief lateral spread
  muck lava flow
  mucky peat louderback
  nuée ardente low hill
  peat low marsh
  permafrost marl
  pluvial lake moss peat
  pothole lake mudflow
  puff nonsorted circle
  pumice notch
  pyroclastic flow paha
  pyroclastic surge pahoehoe lava
  reworked lake plain pahoehoe lava flow
  rise parna
  scour piedmont slope
  slickrock pillow lava
  slump pillow lava flow
  solifluction deposit playa lake
  sorted circle playette
  sound reclaimed land
  spatter cone rib and groove topography
  strait rockfall
  subaqueous soil rockfall avalanche
  subglacial melt-out till rock spread
  subglacial till rock topple
  supraglacial melt-out till rotational debris slide
  supraglacial till rotational earth slide
  tidal inlet [relict] rotational rock slide
  till rotational slide
  Toreva block sand flow
  truncated soil scoria
  tumulus sea
  turf hummock sedimentary peat
  volcanic crater sedimentary rock
  volcanic neck shoal [relict]
  volcanic pressure ridge sill
  volcaniclastic slide
  volcanic plug slope alluvium
  zibar soil fall
    solution chimney
    string bog
    translational debris slide
    translational earth slide
    translational rock slide
    translational slide
    woody peat


  1. Exhibit 629-1, Lists of Landscape, Landform, Microfeature, and Anthropogenic Feature Terms Contained in the Glossary, was revised to add new terms and add codes to all terms.
  2. Exhibit 629-2, List of Materials or Material-Related, Structure, or Morphological-Feature Terms Contained in the Glossary and exhibit 629-3 Genesis – Process Terms and Geologic Time Terms Contained in the Glossary were both revised.
  3. Exhibit 629-4, North American Glacial Episodes and General Geologic Time Scale, was revised to insert a new table. A new reference document (Walker and Geidman) was added.
  4. Exhibit 629-5, Till Terms, was revised to correct spelling of till types, update footnotes, and update one reference.
  5. Exhibit 629-6, Pyroclastic Terms, was revised to correct cell entries, clarify the footnotes, and update the references.