The Soil Survey is a compilation of soils information designed to assist in making land use decisions. In Michigan, soils data is available in a variety of formats ranging from a hard copy of the Soil Survey to digital data for use with Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
Access to soil survey information is provided through maps. All text and tables relate to the map symbols and the areas delineated on these maps. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of soil survey information should contact the NRCS at the USDA Service Center.
Status of Michigan Soil Surveys
Soil surveys are completed and available for all Michigan counties. NRCS is starting to work with cities in southeast Wayne County to develop a GIS level of soil resources for these municipalities. NRCS recently completed soils mapping of Isle Royale National Park and the information is being reviewed for publication.
Field work is being conducted by the Major Land Resource Area Soil Survey offices to update portions of all soil surveys. The most updated soil survey information is available online from the Web Soil Survey. The Web Soil Survey allows users to display and copy up to 10,000 acres of soils information from the site.
Historical copies of some soil surveys may be available, to check the availability of a specific soil survey in Michigan, view the "Soil Survey Availability" document linked below. Printed soil surveys are no longer available for Alger, Alpena, Benzie, Gogebic, Kalkaska, Keweenaw, Luce, Manistee, Marquette, Ontonagon, Oscoda, Otsego, Roscommon, and Schoolcraft counties.
Local NRCS field offices offer assistance with obtaining Soil Survey information. NRCS offices are listed in local telephone books under U.S. Department of Agriculture, a listing of NRCS field offices with contact information is also available online.
Obtaining Digital Soils Data
Digital soils data is currently available for two types of user, the user without GIS software available on their computer and the user with GIS software available.
Users without GIS software
The Michigan State University Institute for Water Research has soil information available in GIS form for 35 counties that can be viewed without GIS software. To access this information visit their Web site.
Users with GIS software
Digital soils information is available through the Soil Survey Geographic Database (SSURGO) for all Michigan counties. Digitals soils information is not yet available for the urban portion of Wayne County and Isle Royale National Park. For an explanation of SSURGO standards visit the NRCS SSURGO Web page.