The following is a map unit description from the "Soil Survey of Norfolk and Suffolk Counties, Massachusetts (Peragallo, 1989)"

Ip-Ipswich mucky peat. This is a very poorly drained, nearly level soil in tidal marshes and estuaries on Massachusetts Bay (fig. 8). The soil is subject to tidal flooding twice daily. Areas are irregular in shape and range from 5 to 150 acres. Slopes range from 0 to 2 percent.

Typically, the surface layer is very dark grayish brown mucky peat about 14 inches thick. The subsurface layer is very dark grayish brown mucky peat about 21 inches thick. The bottom layer is very dark grayish brown mucky peat to a depth of 60 inches or more.

Included with this soil in mapping are a few small areas of Udorthents, wet substratum, and areas of organic deposits that are less than 51 inches deep, Included areas make up about 5 percent of this map unit.

Soil properties:

Permeability: Moderate to rapid.
Available water capacity:
Very high.
Soil reaction:
Strongly acid to neutral.
Depth to bedrock:
More than 60 inches.
Tidal flooding:
Twice daily.
Hydrologic group:
Salt content:
More than 10,000 parts per million.

Most areas of this soil are in salt-tolerant grasses. They are in the natural condition except for a system of open ditches for freer drainage of tidal inundations.

This soil is very poorly suited to most uses because of sulfides, flooding, wetness, low strength, and salt content. It is well suited to habitat for wetland wildlife, such as fish, shellfish, and waterfowl. In the past some of these areas have been filled and used for commercial, industrial, and residential developments. The filled areas extend through Suffolk County and Quincy, except they are smaller in Quincy. Some of the filled areas are subject to subsidence and to flooding by storm tides.

  • This soil is in capability subclass VIIIw.
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