Soil Survey

Download the Soil Survey

*New Changes to Clermont County Soil Survey*

This download is a zipped file 4.3 MB in size. At a download speed of 46.6 Kbps, 15 minutes is required.



The Clermont County Soil Survey, originally published in September 1975, is the primary source of information about the soils in Clermont County. Soil can be defined as a living, dynamic resource that supports plant life. Soil is made up of different size mineral particles (sand, silt, & clay), organic matter, and numerous species of living organisms. Soil maps provide critical resource information to Clermont County because soil is not just important to agriculture. Soils are also important to woodland management, development of recreational areas, building and construction materials, sanitation facilities, wildlife habitat, and water management.

The soils and miscellaneous areas in the county are in an orderly pattern that is related to the geology, landforms, relief, climate, and natural vegetation of the area. Each kind of soil and miscellaneous area is associated with a particular kind of landform or with a segment of the landform. By observing the soils and miscellaneous areas in the county and relating their position to specific segments of the landform, the soil scientists developed a concept or model of how the soils were formed. Thus, during fieldwork, this model enabled the soil scientists to predict with a considerable degree of accuracy the dominant type of soil or miscellaneous area at a specific location on the landscape within the county.

Soil Series

Soils are classified into orders, suborders, great groups, subgroups, families, and series. Series are the lowest and most specific category of the classification system. The series is determined by the characteristics of the soil profile including physical, chemical, and biological properties of the soil profile. Each soil series is assigned a name, which is usually derived from a town, river, or other landmark near where the soil was first identified. There are over 400 different soil series in the state of Ohio.

Interpreting A Soil Map

A soil map, at first glance, appears to actually very simple to use and understand. The lines represent the boundaries between soils. Remember that although a soil boundary is a delineation between soil series, it is not the type of boundary that you could straddle and have one foot on one soil and the other foot on a different soil. The transition between soils is continuous and, in most cases, gradual. The text labels are what the soil map uses to identify the soil map units. The labels have a common theme that is quite easy to understand. The label is made up of three parts. The first part consists of an uppercase letter and a lower case letter, which designates the soil type. The second part is an uppercase letter, which designates the slope class. The third part, if shown, is a number, and this designates the erosion class of the soil. For example, look at the two labels seen on the sample map, AvA and RpB2. These can be broken down as follows:
•Av – Avonburg silt loam
•A – A slope soil (0-2% slopes)
•No number is shown for the erosion class so this soil is assumed to typically have minimal or no erosion.

•Rp – Rossmoyne silt loam
•B – B slope soil (2-6 % slopes)
•2 – Eroded state of 2 (soil is eroded)

The full name of a soil then is the combination of all of this information. For the symbol, AvA, the name is “Avomburg silt loam, 0-2% slopes.” For the symbol, Rpb2, the full name is “Rossmoyne silt loam, 2-6 % slopes, eroded.”

Slope classes will range from A to G, with A being the flattest slope and G being the steepest. Erosion class numbers in Clermont County range from 2 to 3. These classifications depict moderately and severely eroded soil respectively. The full list of soils in Clermont County can be found in the Index to Map Units found in the manuscript.

Availability Of The Soil Survey

A printed copy of the original (1971) Clermont County Soil Survey is still currently available for viewing at our office. Hardcopy soil survey’s are no longer being produced. Websites such as Web Soil Survey are able to provide soil survey users with the most accurate and updated information regarding soils.

Final SSURGO approvals are completed and can be downloaded to use with GIS from

Printed maps may be obtained from the Clermont SWCD office. A digital CD-ROM is available from the Clermont Soil and Water Conservation District, which contains the Soil Survey text in Adobe Acrobat format (PDF). The digitized soil layer for GIS and 42, 11×17 map sheets, are available. Please contact the Clermont SWCD for more information. In addition, we have placed the soil manuscript and table information on-line for your convenience.

Soil Survey Manuscript

The Clermont County Soil Survey manuscript is available on-line in PDF format. The zipped file is approximately 4.3 MB so please expect a reasonable download time. The Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view this file. The manuscript contains information on Clermont County, the procedure for creating the Clermont County Soil Survey, descriptions of general and detailed soil map units, table descriptions, factors and processes of soil formation, soil morphology, etc.
•Download the Soil Survey – This download is a zipped file 4.3 MB in size
•Download Adobe Acrobat Reader free
•Download Winzip

Soil Maps

We are awaiting the master CD’s of the SSURGO Soil Survey for Clermont County. In the mean time, we have produced a cd containing the soil map data for GIS applications. From this layer, the District has compiled a soil map using the Spring 2003 images as the base. Roads and streams are plotted on 42, 11×17 map sheets. These maps can be accessed from the CD using Adobe Acrobat Reader. The maps have been placed on a CD along with the GIS layer, and the Soil Survey Manuscript. For more information, and to obtain a CD, please contact the Clermont SWCD office.

The soil maps can now be downloaded online!

Click here to go to the soil map index. These Soil maps are 11×17 inches in size and are at 200 dpi for printing. Each map is a large file. If download times are slow, please contact the office for the maps on CD.

The soil maps can now be downloaded online!

Click here to go to the soil map index.  These Soil maps are 11×17 inches in size and are at 200 dpi for printing.  Each map is a large file.  If download times are slow, please contact the office for the maps on CD.


The tables give all the technical information about the many things that soil type can influence. Most of these tables rate the soils’ suitability for different uses on a three-level scale using the terms slight, moderate, and severe. “Slight” means that soil properties and site features are generally favorable for the indicated use and limitations are minor and easily overcome. “Moderate” indicates that soil properties or site features are not favorable for the indicated use and special planning, design, or maintenance is needed to overcome or minimize the limitations. “Severe” means that soil properties or site features are so unfavorable or so difficult to overcome that special design; significant increases in construction costs, and possibly increased maintenance are required. Special feasibility studies may be required where the soil limitations are severe. Individual tables are further described in the Descriptions of Selected Tables section found in the manuscript.

How to print your Soil Maps

The PDF maps are sized for 11×17 inch paper. If you have a printer that supports that size, you are in luck. If your printer does not support 11×17 then you have two options using Acrobat Reader 6.0

Option 1 – reducing the map to fit the page
1.Open Acrobat Reader 6.0
2.Open the soil map page you want to print
3.Click on File, Print Setup
4.Select your printer, paper size ( 8 1/2 x 14), and “Landscape” printing then click “OK”
5.Click on File, Print
6.When the dialog box pops up, select “current view” in the print range
7.In that same dialog box under page handling set page scaling to “Fit to Paper”
8.Check the “auto rotate and center box”
9.Click “OK”
10.The map sheet should print on your 8 1/2″ x 14″ paper. The map will be scaled to 73% of the original size. The bar scale can still be used, however the 1:20,000 is no longer correct.

Option 2 – cut and paste the map into other documents
1.Open Acrobat Reader
2.Open the soil map page you want to print
3.Select the Snapshot tool in the tool bar.
4.Follow the prompts. You will define the part of the page you want to cut with your mouse. The selected area will be copied to the clipboard where you can paste it into you document and print. The pasted map can be shrunk or enlarged to your liking, however the scale will change accordingly.