The following is a map unit description from the "Soil Survey of Norfolk and Suffolk Counties, Massachusetts (Peragallo, 1989)" for more information contact the USDA-NRCS or

Uw-Urban land, wet substratum, 0 to 3 percent slopes. This map unit consists of Urban land developed in areas of Udorthents, wet substratum. Buildings, industrial areas, pavement, and railroad beds cover more than 75 percent of the land surface. The largest areas of this map unit are in downtown Boston and in land surrounding Boston Harbor. Prior to the mid-1700's these areas were a series of small islands surrounded by the bay and estuaries. They are now one large landmass surrounded by the Charles River and Boston Harbor. Smaller areas of this map unit are scattered throughout the cities and towns that border Massachusetts Bay. Areas are irregular in shape and range from 10 to 10,000 acres.

Included with this map unit are small areas of Udorthents, wet substratum, and Udorthents, loamy, where the surface has been exposed. Also included are small, narrow Beaches where the landmass borders Boston Harbor. Included areas make up about 15 percent of the map unit,

Most of this map unit is covered with impervious surfaces; consequently, almost all rainfall runs off. A storm drainage system is needed to control this excessive runoff. The seasonal high water table is in the lower part of the substratum.

Most of these areas are in commercial and industrial uses. If they are used as building sites, extensive onsite investigation is needed and pilings are typically used in preparing foundations (fig. 11).

In a few areas of these soils vegetable gardens can be planted. Soil tests of individual areas are needed for depth, reaction, nutrients, and metal content.

This map unit has not been assigned to a capability subclass.

Back to the Norfolk/Suffolk Home Page

Back to