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

UxA-Urban land-Boxford complex, 0 to 3 percent slopes. This map unit consists of areas of Urban land and very deep, nearly level and gently sloping soils in coastal plain regions. In a typical area it is about 60 percent Urban land, 30 percent Boxford soil, and 10 percent other soils. The Urban land and the Boxford soil are in such an intricate pattern that it was not practical to separate them at the scale selected for mapping. Areas are irregular in shape and range from 6 to 200 acres in size.

Urban land consists of areas where the original soil has been covered with impervious surfaces, such as asphalt, concrete, and buildings. In most cases the underlying soil has been cut away or covered with fill from adjacent areas.

Typically, the surface layer of the Boxford soil is a very dark grayish brown silt loam about 8 inches thick. The subsoil is mottled, light olive brown silty clay loam about 14 inches thick. The substratum is mottled, olive silty clay loam to a depth of 60 inches or more.

Included with this unit in mapping are areas of Newport and Pittstown soils adjacent to hills and areas of Scio soils in positions on the landscape similar to those of the Urban land and the Boxford soil. Also included are a few areas of Udorthents, loamy, where the Boxford soil has been cut away or covered with 20 inches or more of loamy fill material, and Udorthents, wet substratum, where areas of tidal marsh have been filled with more than 24 inches of soil material. Included areas make up about 10 percent of the map unit.

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  • Soil properties of the Boxford soil:
  • Permeability: Moderate in the surface layer and the subsoil and slow in the substratum.

    Available water capacity: High.

    Soil reaction: Strongly acid to slightly acid in the surface layer and the upper part of the subsoil and slightly acid to neutral in the substratum.

    Depth to bedrock.- More than 60 inches.

    Depth to the seasonal high water table: 1.0 to 3.0 feet.

    Hydrologic group: C.



    The mapped areas of this complex are in both residential and commercial uses. Constructing buildings without basements, above the seasonal high water table, and designing landscaping to drain surface water away from buildings help to protect the interior from damage by the seasonal high water table. Tile drains around foundations and the use of sump pumps help to lower the seasonal high water table. Constructing roads on well compacted, coarse textured base material helps to protect the pavement from damage by potential frost action. The seasonal high water table and slow permeability are the main limitations to use of the Boxford soil as sites for septic tank absorption fields. Placing distribution lines in a mound of more suitable fill material helps to overcome these limitations.

    The Boxford soil is fairly suited to establishing and maintaining lawns, landscaping, and gardens. The seasonal high water table is the main limitation. The seasonal high water table generally delays planting and tillage. The Boxford soil holds enough water to enable plants to tolerate short periods of drought.

    This Boxford soil has not been assigned to a capability subclass.