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Methods & Guides

Field Guides

Field Book for Describing and Sampling Soils — standards for observing and recording soil and site characteristics.

Field Indicators of Hydric Soils, version 8.2, 2018 (PDF; 21.3 MB)

Soil Survey Office Laboratory References

Soil Survey Field and Laboratory Methods Manual (SSIR 51), version 2.0 (1-31-14; PDF; 10.3 MB)

Soil Survey Field and Laboratory Methods Manual (SSIR 51), version 1.0, obsolete. (11-2-09; PDF; 8.8 MB)

Soil Survey Office Laboratory Safety Guide, version 3.0 (January 2022; PDF; 290 KB)

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and recommended chemical disposal procedure (10-23-09; PDF; 3.2 MB)

Laboratory Methods and Information

Lab Methods Manual (SSIR 42) - soil laboratory methodology and reference for the laboratory analyst.

Soil Survey Laboratory Information Manual (SSIR 45) - Companion reference to the Laboratory Methods Manual, SSIR No. 42. Sampling methodology, descriptions of KSSL data sheets, and other information to help users of lab data.

A Routine Laboratory Method to Determine Phosphorus Availability, Capacity, and Release Characteristics for Soils (SSIR 55) (PDF; 1.1 MB)

Testing Methods for Phosphorus and Organic Matter

Soil Sample Submission Protocol for the KSSL (11-29-16; PDF; 1.61 MB) - Documentation and procedures necessary for KSSL sample submission.

  • KSSL Sample Submission Workbook (8-30-21; XLSM; 305 KB) – Submit one workbook for each pedon in the sampling project.
  • KSSL Project Sheet (8-30-21; XLSX; 24 KB) – Provides contact information for the sampling project. Submit one Project Sheet for each project.

Soil Archive Subsampling Guidelines for the National Soil Survey Center (NSSC) and Kellogg Soil Survey Laboratory (KSSL) (12-2-21; PDF; 435 KB)

Kellogg Soil Survey Laboratory Request for Assistance