The following is a map unit description from the "Soil Survey of Norfolk and Suffolk Counties, Massachusetts (Peragallo, 1989)"
Sw-Swansea muck. This is a very deep, nearly level, very poorly drained soil in depressions or in lowlying level areas. Areas of the soil are circular or irregular in shape and range from 5 to 20 acres.
Typically. the surface layer is black and dark yellowish brown muck about 34 inches thick. The substratum is loose, olive gray gravelly sand to a depth of 60 inches or more.
Included with this soil in mapping are a few small areas of Birdsall, Freetown, and Scarboro soils in positions on the landscape similar to those of the Swansea soil. Also included are a few small areas of Saco soils along streams. Included areas make up about 15 percent of the map unit.Soil properties:
Permeability: Moderate or moderately rapid in the organic material and very rapid in the substratum.
Available water capacity: High.
Soil reaction: Extremely acid in the organic material and extremely acid to strongly acid in the underlying mineral material.
Depth to bedrock: More than 60 inches.
Depth to the seasonal high water table: 0 to 1.0 foot.
Hydrologic group: D.
Most areas of this soil are used as habitat for wetland wildlife. The natural vegetation consists of reeds, sedges, and water-tolerant grasses.
This soil is very poorly suited to cultivated crops and pasture because of the seasonal high water table. Areas of the soil are difficult to drain because suitable outlets are not available.
Potential productivity for red maple on this soil is moderate. Management concerns are the seasonal high water table, high seedling mortality, and the hazard of windthrow. Low soil strength limits the use of equipment to periods when the soil is very dry or frozen, Thinning the stands helps to minimize windthrow if residual stand density is at or slightly above standard stocking levels and if changes in stand density are limited to 30 percent or less. Some areas are suitable for hand-planting of trees.
This soil is generally not suitable for building sites and septic tank absorption fields because of the seasonal high water table and low strength. Soils that are better suited to these uses are generally nearby. Constructing roads on raised, coarse textured fill material and providing adequate side ditches and culverts help to protect the pavement from damage by the seasonal high water table, potential frost action, and low soil strength.
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