PLYMOUTH COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS SOIL SURVEY UPDATE

Miscellaneous Soil Map Units

Areas of human altered soil and non-soil areas are mapped based on their surface texture, type of alteration, depth to water-table and geologic setting. Human altered map units include; sand, gravel, till, and quarry pits, areas of excavated (cut and fill) geologic material, and areas used for the disposal of refuse. The following map units are human altered soils in Plymouth County:

600 Pits, gravel 601 Pits, quarry 652 Udorthents, refuse substratum 654 Udorthents, loamy 655 Udorthents, wet substratum
657 Aquents 659 Udorthents, gravelly-smoothed 660 Udorthents, gravelly-rolling 665 Udipsamments, smoothed 675 Stockpile, topsoil and organic
700 Udipsamments, wet 702 Udisamments, rolling      

 

600 Pits, gravel:

This non-soil, miscellaneous map unit is used for areas of sand and gravel mining operations that were active during the field survey of the area. Most of these areas are located within areas of glacial fluvial deposits of stratified sands and gravel. This map unit ranges in size of less than a few acres to over 200 acres, the pits range from 5 to over 50 feet deep in some areas. The pits have steep side and a level to hummocky floors.

These areas are typically mined to within a few feet of the water table or until unsuitable material is encountered. Areas of this map unit typically consist of the unweathered geologic deposits, stockpiles of topsoil, sand to boulder size fragments, intermittent and perennial water bodies, and heavy machinery. Also included are areas of undisturbed Hinckley, Windsor, and Merrimac soils and areas of Udipsamments and Udorthents.

The pits generally support little or no vegetation, although some of the older ones support scattered shrubs and grasses. Pits that have been abandoned for several years and are now vegetated are usually mapped as Udorthents or Udipsamments map units.

Generally, this unit is poorly suited to farm uses, woodland, and residential development. Onsite investigation is needed to determine the suitability of the pits for specific uses and the limitations affecting those uses

Some areas of Pits, sand and gravel, are suitable for residential and recreation development. Onsite investigation is needed for any proposed use. If these areas are used as sites for septic tank absorption fields, ground water pollution is a hazard.

Properties:
Agricultural significance: unsuited
Permeability: rapid to very rapid throughout, some areas may be compacted due to vehicular traffic and have reduced permeability rates
Soil reaction: variable, often moderately acid to very strongly acid
Depth to bedrock: typically, greater than 60 inches.
Seasonal high water table: Variable
Depth: variable depending upon the depth of excavation.
In some situations the gravel is mined down to or just above the water table
Hydrologic group: A.
Hydric Soil: typically no, but some areas where gravel removal has intercepted the water table, may qualify as hydric soil areas
Flooding/Ponding Potential: Frequency & Type: none
Duration & Months: none

601 Pits, quarry:

This non-soil, miscellaneous map unit is used for areas of bedrock mining operations.The type of bedrock mined mostly consists of crystalline igneous rocks such as granite, and diorite. Most of these areas are located within bedrock controlled uplands located in the northwestern part of the County. This map unit ranges in size of less than a few acres to over 60 acres, the pits range from 5 to over 75 feet deep in some areas. Pools of water are common in some abandoned quarries, if the water bodies are larger than a few acres, they have been mapped as water.

Most areas of Pits, quarry, are used in a quarrying operation. A few small areas have been abandoned and unreclaimed and are void of vegetation or sparsely vegetated with red cedar and pine saplings. Included in mapping are small areas of Urban land, Udorthents, and undisturbed areas of Hollis and Chatfield soils.

Areas of Pits, quarry, are very poorly suited to most uses. The lack of soil material and the difficulty of excavation limit reclamation of these areas, and very few have been reclaimed. The areas are poorly suited to most uses because of exposed bedrock, a high percentage of small stone fragments, and very low available water capacity. Onsite investigation is needed to determine the suitability of the unit for any proposed use.

This map unit has not been assigned to a capability subclass

605 Pits, till.

This non-soil, miscellaneous map unit is used for mining operations of loamy and bouldery material that were active during the field survey of the area. Most of these areas are located within areas of glacial till deposits consisting of unsorted, unstratified deposits. This map unit ranges in size of less than a few acres to over 10 acres, the pits range from 5 to over 30 feet deep in some areas. The pits have steep side and a level to hummocky floors.

Areas of this map unit typically consist of the unweathered geologic deposits, stockpiles of topsoil, clay to boulder size fragments, intermittent and perennial water bodies, and heavy machinery. Also included are areas of undisturbed Montauk, Poquonock, and Paxton soils and areas of Udorthents and exposed bedrock.

The pits generally support little or no vegetation, although some of the older ones support scattered shrubs and grasses. Pits that have been abandoned for several years and are now vegetated are usually mapped as Udorthents or Udipsamments map units.

Generally, this unit is poorly suited to farm uses, woodland, and residential development. Onsite investigation is needed to determine the suitability of the pits for specific uses and the limitations affecting those uses. Erosion is a major concern in these areas, there are excess fines within the geologic material and erosion control measures are needed.

Some areas of Pits, till, are suitable for residential and recreation development. Onsite investigation is needed for any proposed use. Abandoned areas of this unit are generall not suited for on site septic systems due to the slow permeability associated with the nature of glacial till.

 

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652 Udorthents, refuse substratum:

2365201 Map Unit Description
2365202 Map Unit Description

This map unit consist of areas that have been used for refuse disposal. Most of these areas have been constructed of alternating layers, several inches to several feet thick, of refuse and fill material.

The areas of these soils constructed prior to 1971 consist almost entirely of refuse many feet deep and a cover of one foot or more of loamy soil material planted to grasses. The refuse consist of partly decomposed or burned paper, plastic, metal, glass, rubble, cinders, and organic debris. The areas constructed after 1971 consist of alternating layers of loamy and sandy fill material, unburned refuse, sewage sludge, and incinerated refuse. Where these areas have been abandoned, a final cover of 24 to 48 inches of loamy soil material has been placed on the surface, graded to 2 percent slopes, and planted to grasses.

Included with this map unit are areas of Udorthents, loamy and Udipsamments, where no refuse is in the underlying material. Also included are areas of Udorthent, wet substratum, where swamps and flood plains have been filled.

Permeability of Udorthents, refuse substratum, is moderate to very slow in the upper 24 to 48 inches and rapid to very slow in the underlying material. In nearly level areas water tends to pond on the surface of the compacted cover material. The odor of sulfide gas can be detected when excavations are made. Occasionally, an orange-colored leachate seeps out of the base of slopes.

These soils are generally not suitable as sites for buildings and septic tank absorption fields because they subside. In addition, dangerous, emitted gases can accumulate inside buildings on these areas.

These soils are poorly suited to use as vegetable gardens because crops can absorb toxic substances from refuse and sewage sludge. They are fairly suited to recreation uses, such as ball fields. Areas of these soils differ greatly from area to area; consequently, onsite investigation is needed to assess the suitability of the soils for specific land uses.

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654 - Udorthents, loamy:
This map unit consists of gently sloping to moderately sloping areas where the original soil has been cut away or covered with a loamy fill material. Most of these areas have been graded to a smooth surface with 4 to 10 inches of topsoil. This soil commonly occupies upland areas, but occurs in a variety of landscape positions.

Where the original soil has been cut away the exposed surface is typically composed of substrata of Newport, Paxton, Pittstown, or Woodbridge soils. Areas that have been filled may be derived from several source or a single source from an adjacent cut. In many areas the fill is compact and firm when dry. The majority of these areas have grass vegetation. Some areas on slopes of 15-25 percent lack a vegetative cover because of erosion and slope instability.

Included with this soil in mapping are areas generally smaller than 6 acres, of Urban land, Udipsamments soils, and Udorthents, wet substratum soils bordering existing wetlands. Included areas comprise about 20 percent of the unit.

Soil properties:
Permeability: moderate to slow throughout.
Available water capacity: low to moderate
Soil reaction: variable, generally very to moderately acid.
Depth to bedrock: more than 60 inches.
Seasonal high water table: Depth: variable.
Type & Months: variable, usually perched.
Hydrologic group: N/A.
Hydric Soil: No.
Capability Subclass: N/A.
Flooding/Ponding Potential: Frequency & Type: none.
Duration & Months: none.

Most areas of this map unit are used for parks, recreation fields and buildings. Although these areas have soil characteristics that are quite variable with depth they are generally well suited to building sites. Layers that restrict permeability, and buried objects may hinder deep excavations. This soil is fairly suited to lawns, landscaping and vegetable gardens. In highly urbanized areas these soils may provide some of the best sites for vegetable gardens. Soil tests should be performed to identify possible contaminants, such as heavy metals. The soil characteristics are variable, requiring extensive on-site investigation before suitability for specific land uses can be evaluated.

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655 Udorthents, wet substratum 700 Udipsamments, wet substratum:
Udorthents and Udipsamments, wet substratum are areas of disturbed soils where the upper soil material has been removed, filled or graded. They are moderately well drained, gravelly and sandy soil areas located within areas of glacial fluvial deposits.

Included in this soil map unit are areas of Deerfield and Sudbury soils in undisturbed areas. Aquents are in depressions. Also included are areas which are underlain by silty material below 40 inches.

CLICK HERE TO SEE A PEDON DESCRIPTION OF UDIPSAMMENTS-wet 2370001
00170001

Soil Properties:
Agricultural significance: not rated.
Permeability: rapid to very rapid throughout
Soil reaction: moderately acid to strongly acid
Depth to bedrock: greater than 60 inches
Seasonal high water table: Depth: 1.5 to 4 feet below the surface
Type & Months: Apparent, Jan. to Dec.
Hydrologic group: B
Hydric Soil: onsite required.
Flooding/Ponding Potential: Frequency & Type: none
Duration & Months: none

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660 - Udorthents, gravelly, rolling. 702 Udisamments, rolling:
These map units consists of moderately sloping to steep areas where the original soil has been cut away or covered with a gravelly (Udorthents) or sandy (Udipsamments) fill material. Most of these areas have been graded to a smooth surface with 4 to 10 inches of topsoil. This soil commonly is located on outwash plains and moraines, but occurs in a variety of landscape positions.

Where the original soil has been cut away the exposed surface is typically composed of substrata of Hinckley, Merrimac, or Gloucester soils. Areas that have been filled may be derived from several source or a single source from an adjacent cut. The majority of these areas have grass vegetation. Some areas on slopes of 15-25 percent lack a vegetative cover because of erosion and slope instability.

Included with this soil in mapping are areas generally smaller than 6 acres, of Urban land, Udipsamments soils, and Udorthents, wet substratum soils bordering existing wetlands. Included areas comprise about 20 percent of the unit.

Soil properties:
Permeability: moderately to very rapid.
Available water capacity: very low to low.
Soil reaction: variable, generally very to moderately acid.
Depth to bedrock: more than 60 inches.
Seasonal high water table: Depth: greater than 6 feet.
Type & Months: none.
Hydrologic group: N/A.
Hydric Soil: No.
Capability Subclass: N/A.
Flooding/Ponding Potential: Frequency & Type: none.
Duration & Months: none.

Most areas of this map unit are used for parks, recreation fields and buildings. Although these areas have soil characteristics that are quite variable with depth they are generally well suited to building sites. Layers that restrict permeability, and buried objects may hinder deep excavations. This soil is poorly suited to lawns, landscaping and vegetable gardens, unless a layer of topsoil is added. The soil characteristics are variable, requiring extensive on-site investigation before suitability for specific land uses can be evaluated.

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665 - Udipsamments, smoothed. 659 Udorthents, gravelly-smoothed:
These areas are nearly level, excessively drained soils are in areas that have been excavated for sand (Udipsamments) and gravel (Udorthent) or filled during construction. These human altered soil are commonly located on outwash plains and deltas, and are associated with development areas, old sand pits, adjacent to cranberry beds, and along roads and airports. Slopes generally range from 0 to 8 percent. They are often sparsely vegetated with sweet fern, pitch pine saplings, and scrub oak.

Included with this soil map unit are areas of Udipsamments, wet, where the water table is within 5 feet of the surface, and Udipsamments, rolling in areas where the slope exceeds 8 percent, and Aquents, where the watertable is at or near the surface. Also included are undisturbed areas of Carver, Windsor, and Plymouth soils.

CLICK HERE TO SEE A PEDON DESCRIPTION OF UDIPSAMMENTS

Soil Properties:
Permeability: rapid to very rapid throughout.
Available water capacity: very low or low.
Soil reaction: variable, generally very to moderately acid.
Depth to bedrock: more than 60 inches.
Seasonal high water table: Depth: more than 6 feet below the surface.
Type & Months: N/A.
Hydrologic group: not assigned.
Hydric Soil: No.
Capability Subclass: not assigned.
Flooding/Ponding Potential: Frequency & Type: none.
Duration & Months: none.

The characteristics of this map unit are quite variable. Onsite investigation is needed to determine the suitability for most uses.

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657 - Aquents (Note Aquents are now mapped Tihonet soils)
Aquents are altered or disturbed soil areas where the original soil material has been removed, repositioned or fill has been added. These areas are the result of human activities and are typically associated with urban development, earth removal and leveled areas adjacent to some cranberry bogs. Aquent soil areas have seasonal high water tables and are often sparsely vegetated.

Aquent soil areas are quite variable in composition. Texture is usually dependant on the parent material and the type of fill material used if present. These areas may contain buried construction debris, stumps and in some instances buried soils.

Included in this soil map unit are areas of Udorthents and Udipsamments on higher elevations and Wareham, Mattapoisett, Pipestone, and Ridgebury soils in undisturbed areas.

Soil Properties:
Permeability: variable.
Available water capacity: low to moderate.
Soil reaction: variable.
Depth to bedrock: greater than 60 inches.
Seasonal high water table: Depth: 0.0 to 1.5 feet below the surface.
Type & Months: variable, Nov. through May.
Hydrologic group: C.
Hydric Soil: yes (Aquents are disturbed hydric soil areas).
Capability subclass: NA.
Flooding/Ponding Potential: Frequency & Type: frequent, ponding.
Duration & Months: brief-long, Nov-May.

Suitability:

Crops:
This soil is poorly suited to cultivated crops and pasture because of the seasonal high water table. Some areas are well suited for cranberry and blueberry production.

Woodland:
This soil is poorly suited for woodland. Due to the disturbed nature of this soil areas are usually sparsely vegetated. Management concerns are the seasonal high water table, high seedling mortality, and the hazard of windthrow.

Development:
The seasonal high water table is a limitation if this soil is used as a site for dwellings with or without basements or as a site for on-site sewage disposal.

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