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Massachusetts Soils


Soil survey interpretations assign ratings to soil types based on their properties so that users can view maps or reports of soil data specific to their needs. Many national soil interpretations are available to view on Web Soil Survey.  Statewide or regional interpretations are developed by soil scientists within the state to provide information specific to the state of Massachusetts.  

Massachusetts Interpretations

Massachusetts Nitrate-Nitrogen Leaching Index

  • The Nitrate-Nitrogen Leaching Index (NLI) is an indicator of the potential for nitrates dissolved in water to percolate to the groundwater. In Massachusetts, the NLI is based on a soil interpretation that uses soil and climate properties in the National Soil Information System (NASIS) database and results in a ranking of low, moderate, or high potential for Nitrate-Nitrogen leaching.

Coastal and Streambank Erosion (Shoreline Erosion) - Draft

  • Mass movement of soils due to erosion by water is a concern in coastal areas as well as stream, river, and lake bank protection.  Identification of soil types that are more prone to erosion can help to target areas for revetment, protection, and living shoreline management in addition to identification of areas to avoid development due to increased risk of land loss from mass movement of soils. 

County Reports

Select the soil survey area or county to view a list of Prime Farmland Soil and Hydric Soils.

Printable pdf of map.

A map of Massachusetts showing the areas covered by each soil survey