The following is a map unit description from the "Soil Survey of Norfolk and Suffolk Counties, Massachusetts (Peragallo, 1989)"
HfD-Hinckley loamy sand, 15 to 35 percent slopes. This is a very deep, hilly and steep, excessively drained soil on side slopes on terraces, escarpments, kames, and eskers. Areas of the soil are irregular in shape and range from 6 to 100 acres.
Typically, the surface layer is dark brown loamy sand about 4 inches thick. The subsoil is dark yellowish brown gravelly loamy sand about 10 inches thick. The substratum is light olive brown, stratified gravelly and very gravelly coarse sand to a depth of 60 inches or more. In areas of this soil in the Boston Basin and in Weymouth. the subsoil and the substratum are mostly olive colored and are 50 to 75 percent, by volume, coarse fragments of dark. flat shale and slate.
Included with this soil in mapping are small areas of Merrimac and Windsor soils in positions on the landscape similar to those of the Hinckley soil. Included areas make up about 1 5 percent of the map unit.Soil properties:
Permeability.- Rapid in the surface layer and the
subsoil and very rapid in the substratum.
Available water capacity: Low.
Soil reaction.- Extremely acid to moderately acid throughout.
Depth to bedrock., More than 60 inches.
Depth to high water table: More than 6 feet.
Hydrologic group: A.
Most areas of this soil are woodland. A few areas are used as individual homesites.
This soil is poorly suited to cultivated crops and pasture because of droughtiness and steep slopes.
Potential productivity for eastern white pine on this soil is high. Management concerns are droughtiness and the hazard of erosion. Thinning crowded stands to accepted standard stocking levels allows more vigorous growth. In thinning operations it is important to remove diseased, poorly formed, and otherwise undesirable trees. Shelterwood cutting, seed-tree cutting, and clearcutting help to establish natural regeneration or to provide suitable planting sites. Removing or controlling competing vegetation allows best growth of newly established seedlings. Minimizing soil disturbance, retaining the sponge-like mulch of leaves, and designing regeneration cuts to optimize shade and reduce evapotranspiration help to retain the limited soil moisture. Constructing access roads and trails with grades between 2 and 10 percent and installing water bars help to control erosion.
Slope is the main limitation for building sites. Extensive land shaping is generally needed. Designing buildings and lots to conform to the natural slope of land helps to overcome the slope limitation and to control erosion in disturbed areas. Large amounts of cut and fill are generally needed when constructing roads on this soil. Constructing roads on the contour and planting roadbanks to well adapted grasses help to control erosion.
Steepness of slope and very rapid permeability are the main limitations to use of the soil as sites for septic tank absorption fields. If the soil is used as sites for septic tank absorption fields, ground water pollution is a hazard. Because of very rapid permeability, the soil readily absorbs but does not adequately filter the effluent. Installing distribution lines across the slope helps to overcome the slope limitation, but in some areas additional precautionary measures are needed to reduce the pollution hazard.
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