Skip Navigation

NSSH Amendment 17

July 2008

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 618 – Soil Properties and Qualities

  1. Part 618 is updated to include minor format changes.
  2. Addition of the soil property “Sum of Bases”.
  3. Addition of eight new Appendices to document NASIS soil property calculations They are: AASHTO Group Index, Cation Exchange Capacity, Effective Cation Exchange Capacity, Extractable Acidity, Liquid Limit and Plasticity Index, Particle Size, Rock Fragments and Percent Passing Sieves, and Water Content (1/10 bar, 1/3 bar, 15 bar, satiated water content, and oven dry bulk density). These NASIS calculations are included to publish the underlying logic in the calculation of these soil properties.

NSSH 622 – Ecological and Interpretive Groups

  1. This section is revised to correct an error in the application of Land Capability Subclasses. Previously, it indicated that subclasses could not be used with soils in Land Capability Class 8. This section is updated to recognize that capability subclass can be used with Land Capability Class 8.
  2. Minor editorial revisions in the text for clarification.

NSSH 629 – Glossary of Landform and Geologic Terms

  1. 629.00 – Revisions to Definition and Purpose section.
  2. 629.02 – Added some new terms, and revised or edited some existing definitions. (Definitions that are “edited” simply have editorial changes that do not change their meaning).
Local relief Alluvial cone Alluvial plain remnant
Novaculite Alluvial flat Cuesta
Physiographic division Bolson Cuesta valley
Physiographic section Bowl Dip slope
Siltite Creep Extramorainal
State physiographic area Cuesta Flatwoods
  Cuesta valley Human transported material
  Divide Granitoid
  Creep Pediment
  Drainage pattern Pedisediment
  Eocene Riser
  Geomorphic component hills River valley
  Homoclinal ridge Sand plain
  Interdune valley Slickensides
  Landform Swale
  Landscape Talus cone
  Physiographic Province  
  Railroad bed  
  Stream terrace  
  Valley floor remnant  
  1. 629.03 – Added references: Kidder, D.L., 1987 and Maxwell, D.T., 1973.
  2. Exhibit 629-1 – Revised the lists of landscape, landform, microfeature, and anthropogenic feature terms to accommodate revisions in the glossary.
  3. Exhibit 629-2 – Revised materials or material-related, structure, or morphological-feature terms to accommodate revisions in the glossary.
  4. Exhibit 629-3 – Revised the list of genesis - process terms and geologic time terms to accommodate revisions in the glossary.