Data Summary

Delaware River Watershed Initiative - Soils

2015 - Open Space Institute

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Two seamless soils datasets based on USDA’s SSURGO and STATSGO databases were created for the entire DRB region, and information pertaining to various soil-related factors such as erodibility (k factor), available water - holding capacity, texture, etc. were compiled and summarized for discrete mapping units at these two scales. The SSURGO (Soil Survey Geographic) database is compiled at the detailed county-level survey scale that most soil information users are familiar with, and has two basic components: 1) digital boundaries of the detailed soil mapping units, and 2) tabular information on a wide range of soil parameters associated with each mapping unit. The STATSGO (State Soil Geographic) database summarizes similar soils information at a much more generalized “soil association” scale. Both of these datasets for the DRB area were downloaded from USDA’s “geospatial data” site at Once downloaded, considerable effort was then expended to first seam together the data from the separate states overlapping the DRB, and then to “populate” both soil databases by linking a number of “attribute tables” to the soils polygons contained within the DRB boundary. In this case, over 325,000 soil polygons were populated with information extracted from about a dozen different attribute tables.