The following is a map unit description from the "Soil Survey of Barnstable County, Massachusetts (Fletcher, 1993)"

BbC-Barnstable sandy loam, 8 to 15 percent slopes, very stony.

This very deep, strongly sloping, well drained soil is on small hills and ridges in areas of ground moraine and ice-contact deposits. Stones and boulders cover 1 to 3 percent of the surface. The soil makes up approximately 0.2 percent (406 acres) of the survey area. It is mapped mainly in the Plymouth-Carver-Barnstable general soil map unit. Areas are irregular in shape and range from 5 to 150 acres in size.

Typically, the surface is covered with an organic layer. This layer is about 1 inch of undecomposed pine needles, leaves, and twigs and 2 inches of partly decomposed and well decomposed organic material. The surface layer is dark gray, very friable sandy loam about 1 inch thick. The subsoil is friable sandy loam about 22 inches thick. The upper 1 inch is dark brown, the next 7 inches is yellowish brown, and the lower 14 inches is light olive brown. The substratum to a depth of 65 inches or more is light yellowish brown, loose coarse sand.

Included with this soil in mapping are areas of Carver, Nantucket, and Plymouth soils. Also included are small areas where slopes are less than 8 percent or more than 15 percent and some areas where stones and boulders cover more than 3 percent of the surface. Included soils make up about 30 percent of this unit.

Permeability is moderately rapid in the subsoil of the Barnstable soil and rapid or very rapid in the substratum. Available water capacity is moderate. Depth to the seasonal high water table is more than 6 feet.

Most areas are used as woodland. Some areas have been developed for homesites.

This soil is unsuitable as cropland because the surface stones and boulders restrict the use of equipment. It is suited to cultivated crops, however, if the stones and boulders are removed.

This soil is well suited to native pasture. It is poorly suited to hay and improved pasture, however, because the use of equipment is limited by the surface stones and boulders. The main management objective is the prevention of overgrazing, which reduces the hardiness and density of desirable plants. Proper stocking rates, timely grazing, and restricted use during wet periods help to maintain plant density and minimize surface compaction.

This soil is suited to woodland. No major hazards or limitations restrict woodland management. The use of equipment may be hampered because of the surface stones and boulders. Thinning dense stands to standard stocking levels results in more vigorous tree growth. Removal or control of competing vegetation may be necessary for the best growth of newly established seedlings. The most common trees are pitch pine, white oak, scarlet oak, eastern white pine, and black oak.

The slope is a limitation if this soil is used as a building site. Land shaping is generally needed. Buildings and lots should be designed so that they conform to the natural slope of the land. Erosion is a hazard during and after construction. Planting well suited grasses as soon as possible after the surface is disturbed minimizes the erosion hazard. The surface and subsurface stones and boulders may hamper site development.

This soil is limited as a site for septic tank absorption fields because of the slope and the rapid or very rapid permeability in the substratum. The soil may not adequately filter the effluent. The poor filtering capacity may result in the pollution of ground water. The hazard of pollution increases with the density of housing. Installing the distribution lines on the contour or in areas that were graded during construction of the dwelling helps to overcome the slope. Precautionary measures may be necessary in some areas.

  • The capability subclass is VIs.

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