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Featured Soil

 Winooski Soil Series

Soil Profile of Winooski Typical landscape where Winooski Series is found

The Winooski Series was first recognized and established as a soil series in 1938 in Chittenden County. Since that time, this series has been mapped all over New England in Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York.  It is named after the Winooski River.

Winooski soils are formed in recent alluvial deposits of very fine sand and silt, as illustrated in the profile shot above. Much of the parent material of this soil has been transported by floodwaters and is thus called alluvium.  Floodplain soils often lack a B horizon. Many times, only an A and C horizons are present. This situation occurs because new material is constantly being added, preventing the formation of a B horizon.

Winooski soils are often farmed, being in fertile floodplain areas. Precautions need to be taken to prevent erosion during flooding events. The landscape picture above shows a riparian forest buffer along the bank of the river, protecting the corn field in the background. Ideally, these buffers should be at least 50 feet wide.

Soil highlights for the Winooski Series:

The black dot represent where the Winooski series falls in the range.

Drainage Class:

Slider bar showing Winooski Series has a Moderately Well Drained drainage class.




Depth to Bedrock:

Slider bar showing Winooski Series has a Very Deep depth pahse.





Depth to Seasonal High Water Table:

Seasonal High Water Table Diagram







Hydric Soil:

Not rated as hydric

Important Farmland Classification:



Occasional Frequency; Brief Duration

For more detailed information:

For information on Important Farmland Soils (which include the designations of Prime, Statewide and Local) we have a CD available. The criteria are explained, you can print Adobe Acrobat pdf files of maps by county, and information is given about Vermont's Act 250.

The Official Series Description Web Page has descriptions of each series in the entire country.

The National NRCS Soils Web Page has a wealth of information if you wish to learn more about the rating systems used to describe soil and the classification of soils.


  • Depth to bedrock - The distance from the mineral surface of the soil to solid rock that underlies the soil and other unconsolidated material. In some cases this material is exposed at the surface. Five depth phases are identified: very shallow, shallow, moderately deep, deep, and very deep.
  • Drainage class -  Refers to the frequency and duration of wet periods under conditions similar to those under which the soil formed. This is a qualitative measurement. Seven classes of natural soil drainage are recognized: very poorly drained,  poorly drained, moderately well drained, well drained, somewhat excessively drained, somewhat poorly drained, and excessively drained.
  • Hydric Soil - Soils that formed under conditions of saturation, flooding or ponding long enough during the growing season to develop anaerobic (lacking oxygen) conditions in the upper part. These soils will have water tables close to the surface of the soil.
  • Parent material - The primary material (both mineral and / or organic) from which the soil was formed.
  • Soil horizons -  a layer of soil, approximately parallel to the soil surface
    • The O horizon is an organic layer, which generally forms above the mineral soil - consisting of material from plants and animals.
    • The A horizon is the surface layer where organic mater accumulates and is intermixed with the mineral fraction.
    • The B horizon is called the subsoil, there is evidence of an alteration by mineral or chemical accumulation and / or movement through the soil profile, often soil structure develops.
    • The C horizon is called the substratum, it is relatively little affected by biological activity and soil forming processes (pedogensis) it can be like or unlike the A and B horizons above it.
  • Soil Series - The lowest category in the U.S. system of taxonomy, analogous to a species in classification of plants and animals. Soils that comprise a soil series have horizons that are similar in thickness and arrangement. They will also share close similarities in physical, chemical, and mineralogical makeup.
  • Water Table - The upper limit of the part of the soil (or underlying material) wholly saturated with water.