Wisconsin Coastal GIS Applications Project

The Status of Digital Soils Mapping in Wisconsin's Lake Michigan CoastalCounties


Note: This Report is in draft form. Please do not link to this page.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 -- Introduction
Chapter 2 -- Soil Survey Geographic Database
Chapter 3 -- Estimated Costs of Completion for Counties Not Scheduled for SSURGO
Chapter 4 -- SEWRPC Soils Data
Chapter 5 -- Sources
Appendix A -- SSURGO Soils Data
Appendix B -- Soils Coverage Status for Lake Michigan Coastal Counties

Authors

Doug Tallman and David Hart
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute
and
Land Information and Computer Graphics Facility, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Principal Investigators

Stephen J. Ventura
Bernard J. Niemann, Jr.
Land Information and Computer Graphics Facility, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Allen H. Miller
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute
and
Land Information and Computer Graphics Facility, University of Wisconsin-Madison

This research was conducted as part of an agreement between the Universityof Wisconsin-Madison and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit Districtunder the supervision of David Barilovich.


Chapter 1. Introduction

Soils data for the Lake Michigan coastal counties are available from both the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) and the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). Complete coverage is available for the SEWRPC counties. NRCS also has large-scale soils information available under the name of Soil Survey Geographic Database (SSURGO). The program is ongoing. SSURGO data for the following Lake Michigan coastal counties is currently available: Brown, Door, Manitowoc and Sheboygan.

Click here to view a Lake Michigan Counties soils inventory map.


Chapter 2. Soil Survey Geographic Database

The Soil Survey Geographic Database (SSURGO) is a public domain database created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Resource Conservation Service that contains georeferenced spatial data, attribute data and accompanying metadata for soils. It is the most detailed soils mapping done by the NRCS, duplicating the original soils survey maps. SSURGO is a nationwide mapping program with soils data being distributed as a complete coverage by county. The SSURGO database was designed for use by landowners, organizations, agencies and government natural resource planning and management boards and is based on their needs.

SSURGO spatial data is based on maps from digital orthophoto quarter-quadrangles (DOQQ) and are collected and archived in 7.5 minute quadrangle units. Soils spatial data are digitized from maps that meet the National Map Accuracy Standards or the proposed U.S. National Cartographic Standards for Spatial Accuracy. In addition, the spatial data meet the NRCS Standards and Specifications for digitizing and are given a final review by the National Cartographic and GIS Center.

Overall mapping scales range from 1:12000 to 1:63630, however the scale for new surveys is done between 1:12000 and 1:24000. The most detailed soils maps are compiled at 1:12000 (5.3"=1 mile), 1:15840 (4"=1 mile), and 1:20000 (3.2"=1 mile) scales. The smallest map units used for soils classification range from 2-10 acres in size.

Accompanying the spatial data is a tabular soil property and interpretations relational database, the Map Unit Interpretation Record (MUIR). MUIR gives the proportionate extent of the component soils and their chemical and physical properties for each map unit. Additional information in the MUIR database include salinity, erodibility factors, flooding, water table depth, soils rating, hydric properties, bedrock, building site development, habitat suitability, and potential production yields. As such they are an excellent source for determining erodible areas and developing erosion control practices, for reviewing site development proposals and land use potential, and for making land assessments.


Chapter 3. Estimated Costs of Completion for Counties Not Scheduled for SSURGO

According to a conversation with Wisconsin State Soil Scientist Kenneth Lubich, a rough estimate of the cost of completing soils mapping would be about $4000.00-$4500.00 per quadrangle. Note that this cost assumes that an orthophotography base is available and that published soils survey data exist for the area. The rough estimate quoted would only cover the costs of recompilation, updates of surveys, digitizing, and certification and review. Published soils survey data exist for all of the Lake Michigan coastal counties, but Marinette and Oconto counties do not currently have a digital orthophoto quarter-quadrangle base. Marinette and Oconto counties are interested in completing a SSURGO database but as they are rather large counties needing an extensive orthophoto base they lack the funds necessary to support completion of the project.

Cost estimates for Marinette and Oconto Counties based on estimates for completing DOQQ coverage and on the above estimates are as follows:

Marinette County

Estimated cost of completing DOQQ production for Marinette Co. (see DOP Estimated Completion Costs section ): $269,280
Estimated cost for completing SSURGO for the 142 quarter-quads of Marinette Co.: $144,000-162,000.00
Estimated Total Cost: $413,280-431,280.00

Oconto County

Estimated cost of completing DOQQ production for Oconto Co. (see DOP Estimated Completion Costs section ): $183,60
Estimated cost for completing SSURGO for the 108 quarter-quads of Marinette Co.: $108,000-121,500.00
Estimated Total Cost: $291,600-305,100.00

Mr. Lubich also mentioned that cost-sharing of NRCS projects is normally done on aone-half cost share of project expenses.


Chapter 4. SEWRPC Soils Data

Soils data is available for the four county coastal region including Ozaukee, Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties.

Chapter 5. Sources

Technical information and background on NRCS SSURGO data was obtained from the national NRCS website listing at http://www.ftw.nrcs.usda.gov/stssaid.html (June, 1999). Additional information was from phone conversations with Kent Pena on June 17th and 21st and Ken Lubich on June 24th, 1998.)

Appendix A. SSURGO Soils Data

Users Guide:
Available from NRCS (http://www.ftw.nrcs.usda.gov/ssur_data.html).

Format:
SSURGO data is available from the NRCS in USGS Digital Line Graph-3 format or Arc/INFO exchange format. MUIR is a relational database format ASCII file and is normally distributed on CD-ROM or downloaded from the NRCS website.

SSURGO data is collected and archived in 7.5 minute Quadrangle units.

Scale:
Maps are made at scales ranging from 1:12,000 to 1:63,360. Typical scales are 1:15,840 (4"=1 mile), 1:20,000 (3.2"=1 mile) and 1:24,000 (2.6"=1 mile). Smallest map units range from 2-10 acres in size.

Projection and Coordinate System:
Universal Transverse Mercator, coordinates from NAD83, reference system based on GRS80. Map units in meters. No x-ycoordinate shifts (offsets).

Accuracy:
Spatial data meet NRCS Standards and Specifications for Digitizing.Digitized data are made from maps that meet that National Map Accuracy Standards or the Proposed US National Cartographic Standards for SpatialAccuracy. Mapping bases are orthophotoquads.

Certified soil data have passed a 100% state edit and have been certifiedto be an accurate representation of the published or revised soil survey.A final review is done by the National Cartographic and GIS Center.

Content:
MUIR database contains information on map unit acreage and the extent of the components in each map unit.Soils property and interpretation data are also contained for each map unit component.

Availability:
Certified data for Wisconsin is currently available (as of June 1, 1999) for the following counties: Barron, Brown, Calumet, Clark, Dodge, Door, Fond Du Lac, Forest, Green, Jackson, Jefferson, Lincoln, Manitowoc, Marathon, Oneida, Pepin, Portage, Rock, St. Croix, Shawano, Sheboygan and Vilas (Status Map).

Data access:
Public domain access. Ordering information is available from the NRCS website.


Appendix B. Soils Coverage Status for Lake Michigan Coastal Counties

CountiesCoverageEstimated Timetable for Completion
Marinette Not available. Proposal was made by NRCS but nothing is currently scheduled (Reported 6/98).
Oconto Not available. Active proposal exists with county, but nothing has been finalized (Reported 6/98).
BrownSSURGOCompleted. Publication date: 1998.
Kewaunee Not available. Compilation started.
DoorSSURGOCompleted. Publication Date: 1999.
ManitowocSSURGOCompleted. Publication Date: 1998.
SheboyganSSURGOCompleted. Publication Date: 1998.
OzaukeeSEWRPCCompleted.
MilwaukeeSEWRPCCompleted.
RacineSEWRPCCompleted.
KenoshaSEWRPCCompleted.


Last modified by David Hart on June 1, 1999