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NSSH Amendment 27

September 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 609 – Quality Control, Quality Assurance, and Soil Correlation

  1. Updated office abbreviations and titles to current terms.
  2. Deleted 16 occurrences of the term “update soil surveys (or update projects) requiring extensive revision” in table of contents (5), general information sections (7), and exhibits (4).
  3. Revised sections 609.00 through 609.02 for clarity and to ensure consistency with Parts 608 and 610.
  4. Updated 1 occurrence of “National Soil Survey Laboratory” and 1 occurrence of “Soil Survey Laboratory” to “Kellogg Soil Survey Laboratory.”
  5. Updated 13 occurrences of “National Cartography and Geospatial Center” (and NCGC) to “National Geospatial Center of Excellence” (and NGCE).
  6. Updated 10 occurrences of “MLRA-SSO” to “SSO.”
  7. Deleted many occurrences of “MLRA” when used as an adjective with the soil survey office and soil survey regional office.
  8. Updated 2 occurrences of “NSSL” to “KSSL.”
  9. Updated occurrences of the U.S. General Soil Map (STATSGO2).
  10. Updated USDA non-discrimination statement and contact information in Exhibit 609-1.
  11. Edited list of items for a correlation document in section 609.02 (d) to match the items presented in Exhibit 609-1.

Part 627 – Legend Development and Data Collection

  1. Updated the names of the MLRA offices to either the soil survey office (SSO) or the soil survey regional office (SSRO) as appropriate.
  2. Removed all instances of the terms “soil survey project office” or “project office.”
  3. Updated position title of “MO leader” to “soil survey regional director.”
  4. Revised cell entries in Table 1 - Description of Kind of Map Unit.
  5. Revised the previous section on taxonomic categories above the series into new sections 627.04 (b) Families and 627.04 (c) Taxonomic categories above the family, to synchronize with the NASIS domain “component_kind.”
  6. Replaced information on miscellaneous areas which is now in section 627.04 (e).
  7. Added corrections to: section 627.05 (e) on naming human-altered and human-transported soils; section 627.05 (g) on naming areas not completed and areas of denied access; section 627.06 (a) on surface layer texture phases; section 627.06 (h) on salinity phases; section 627.06 (i) on sodicity phases.
  8. Replaced some text in section 627.08 (f) (1) (i) on map unit symbols for clarity.
  9. Revised Exhibit 627-1 on miscellaneous areas to incorporate the decisions made in 2010 at the NCSS regional meetings on the miscellaneous areas workgroup proposals.
  10. Corrected the FTP hyperlink for the Soil-Crop Yield Data form (NRCS-SOI-1).
  11. Revised section 627.06 Phases Used to Name Soil Map Units, to clarify and expand the guidance in items (e) Eroded phases, (g) Soil water phases, (j) Physiographic phases, (k) Climatic phases, and (l) Other phases.
  12. Replaced page 1 of form NRCS-SOI-37A in exhibit 627-5 based on revisions made in June by the NGCE. Deleted the previous date of 5/2001 (or 5/01) from all occurrences in the text of Part 627.
  13. Changed title of Exhibit 627-8 to “Matrix of Investigation Intensity of Soil Surveys and Documentation.”

Part 631 – Soil Survey Investigations

  1. Reformatted the Word file into one column.
  2. Updated numerous occurrences of “Soil Survey Laboratory” to “NSSC Kellogg Soil Survey Laboratory.”
  3. Updated 7 occurrences of “SSL” to “KSSL.”
  4. Clarified the particular office (soil survey or soil survey regional) in several places.
  5. Deleted the NRCS-SOI-8 Input Form for the Index of Laboratory Data (previous exhibit 631-1) and the Instructions for Completing the NRCS-SOI-8 Input Form for the Index of Laboratory Data (previous exhibit 631-2). The form and instructions have been obsolete since the mid-2000’s.
  6. Renumbered the remaining 3 exhibits for research and characterization work plans.