Forest Soil Classification System

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Here you can find links to download the latest stable releases of geospatial data used in the currently live web map.

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About the FPC Forest Soil Classification System

Soils are classified to communicate characteristics that often denote what management techniques might be required. However, the United States Department of Agriculture’s widely accepted taxonomy system is not tailored specifically to forest management.

A new classification system constructed by the Forest Productivity Cooperative (FPC) provides a more comprehensive assessment of factors known to influence forest response to management practices such as underlying geology.

To view a more extensive summary of the FPC Soil Classification System, click here.

About the Web Map
The FPC Web Map is based on the FPC soil classification system and includes supplemental data sources such as USGS geologic formations, Major Land Resource Areas, and more to help inform silvicultural prescriptions. Data sets have been meticulously analyzed and constructed to be top-tier resources for informing decisions in relation to forest management.

FPC Web Map -- Data Download Table

DescriptionFile Download LinkFormat AvailableSizeVersionLast Updated
FPC Soil Classification System — Brief Summary Document FPC_Soil_Classification_System_Nov2019.docxMS Word Document (.docx)239 KB2.011/19/2019
README_projectinfo.txt README_projectinfo.txtText Document11 KB2.003/09/2020
Tables and Columns - Descriptions README_tables_and_columns.txtText Document4 KB2.003/09/2020
External Connection Options ExternalConnectionOptions_FPCSoils_feb2020.pdfPDF144 KB1.003/24/2020
FPC State and County Borders 4326_us_states_and_counties_boundaries.zipShapefile, zipped49.5 MB2.010/25/2019
Alabama (individual counties, entire classification) al_fpcsoils_feb2020_individual_counties.zipShapefiles, zipped1.2 GB2.003/06/2020
Arkansas (individual counties, entire classification) ar_fpcsoils_feb2020_individual_counties.zipShapefiles, zipped0.5 GB2.003/06/2020
Florida (individual counties, entire classification) fl_fpcsoils_feb2020_individual_counties.zipShapefiles, zipped0.9 GB2.003/06/2020
Georgia (individual counties, entire classification)ga_fpcsoils_feb2020_individual_counties.zipShapefiles, zipped1.6 GB2.003/25/2020
Louisiana (individual counties, entire classification) la_fpcsoils_feb2020_individual_counties.zipShapefiles, zipped0.6 GB2.003/06/2020
Mississippi (individual counties, entire classification) ms_fpcsoils_feb2020_individual_counties.zipShapefiles, zipped1.2 GB2.003/06/2020
North Carolina (individual counties, entire classification) nc_fpcsoils_feb2020_individual_counties.zipShapefiles, zipped1.3 GB2.003/06/2020
Oklahoma (individual counties , entire classification) ok_fpcsoils_feb2020_individual_counties.zipShapefiles, zipped1.0 GB2.003/06/2020
South Carolina (individual counties, entire classification) sc_fpcsoils_feb2020_individual_counties.zipShapefiles, zipped0.6 GB2.003/06/2020
Texas (individual counties, entire classification) tx_fpcsoils_feb2020_individual_counties.zipShapefiles, zipped2.2 GB2.003/06/2020
Virginia (individual counties, entire classification) va_fpcsoils_feb2020_individual_counties.zipShapefiles, zipped1.0 GB2.003/06/2020
FPC Geology only (all states) allse_fpc_v2_geology_only_diss_shp.zipShapefile, zipped1.5 GB2.010/25/2019
FPC Geology only (Alabama) al_fpc_v2_geology_only_diss_shp.zipShapefile, zipped174 MB2.010/25/2019
FPC Geology only (Arkansas) ar_fpc_v2_geology_only_diss_shp.zipShapefile, zipped54 MB2.010/25/2019
FPC Geology only (Florida) fl_fpc_v2_geology_only_diss_shp.zipShapefile, zipped89 MB2.010/25/2019
FPC Geology only (Georgia) ga_fpc_v2_geology_only_diss_shp.zipShapefile, zipped133 MB2.010/25/2019
FPC Geology only (Louisiana) la_fpc_v2_geology_only_diss_shp.zipShapefile, zipped144 MB2.010/25/2019
FPC Geology only (Mississippi) ms_fpc_v2_geology_only_diss_shp.zipShapefile, zipped58 MB2.010/25/2019
FPC Geology only (North Carolina) nc_fpc_v2_geology_only_diss_shp.zipShapefile, zipped135 MB2.010/25/2019
FPC Geology only (Oklahoma) ok_fpc_v2_geology_only_diss_shp.zipShapefile, zipped152 MB2.010/25/2019
FPC Geology only (South Carolina) sc_fpc_v2_geology_only_diss_shp.zipShapefile, zipped61 MB2.010/25/2019
FPC Geology only (Texas) tx_fpc_v2_geology_only_diss_shp.zipShapefile, zipped342 MB2.010/25/2019
FPC Geology only (Virginia) va_fpc_v2_geology_only_diss_shp.zipShapefile, zipped143 MB2.010/25/2019
Terraces, Coastal Plain 4326_acp_terraces_shp.zipShapefile, zipped418 MB2.010/25/2019
MLRA only (all states) 4326_mlra_shp.zipShapefile, zipped42 MB2.010/25/2019
FPC Base Spatial Polygon (mapunits, to scale) base_fpc_soils_feb2020.gdb.zipEsri Geodatabase (.gdb), zipped5,0 GB0.903/09/2020
All Southeastern States — Tabular Contents collection, zipped174 MB2.003/09/2020
FPC Trial LocationsSoon to be addedShapefile, zipped2.0

2.0.0 — Current Version

  • Consolidated geology
  • Added CRIFF Group for Translation
  • Simplification of Major Soil Groups
  • Separate depth code from subsoil texture
  • Added somewhat excessively drained
  • Simplification and categorization of modifiers
  • Re-classification of some geologic formations


  • Updated with geologic formations and parent material minerology beyond the Atlantic Coastal Plain.


  • Separated SSURGO classification to highlight major and second-dominant components.


  • Base layers (soils, geology, mlra) created and rendered in their initial, most primitive forms. Initial documentation constructed.


  • Ellis Ackerman
  • Lee Allen
  • Rob Austin
  • Chris Cohrs
  • Rachel Cook
  • Jacob Dearing
  • Tom Fox
  • Pete Kleto
  • Morgan Schulte
  • Emily Stulle

Special Thanks

  • Ed O’Brien
  • Jim DeWit
  • Connor Fristoe
  • Jim Gent
  • Kirk McEachern
  • Jim Rakestraw
  • John Torbert
  • John Thorp


Colpitts, M.C., Fahmy, S.H., MacDougall, J.E., Ng, T.T.M., McInnis, B.G., and Zelazny, V.F. 1995. Forest soils of New Brunswick. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Centre for Land and Biological Resource Research (CLBRR), Research Branch, and Natural Resources Canada, CLBRR Contribution No. 95-38.

Hennigar, C.H., Weiskittel, Aaron Weiskittel, Allen, H. Lee , & MacLean, D. A. (n.d.). Development and evaluation of a biomass increment based index for site productivity. NRC Research Press.

Horton, J.D., 2017, The State Geologic Map Compilation (SGMC) geodatabase of the conterminous United States (ver. 1.1, August 2017): U.S. Geological Survey data release,

Jokela, E.J. and Alan J. Long. Using Soils to Guide Fertilizer Recommendations for Southern Pines.

Soil Survey Staff. Soil Survey Geographic (SSURGO) Database. United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. Available online at FY2019 official release.

Soil Survey Staff. 1999. Soil taxonomy: A basic system of soil classification for making and interpreting soil surveys. 2nd edition. Natural Resources Conservation Service. U.S. Department of Agriculture Handbook 436.

The National Map. (n.d.). Retrieved from

The State Geologic Map Compilation (SGMC) Geodatabase of the Conterminous United States (ver. 1.1, August 2017): The State Geologic Map Compilation of the Conterminous United States was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey Mineral Resources Program (MRP). The project owes its success to numerous MRP staff who compiled the Preliminary Integrated Geologic Map Databases for the United States (PIGMD) as well as the foundational geologic mapping work completed by U.S. State Geologic Surveys and academia. Data obtained and used via SGMC was not spatially manipulated — only added onto via delineation of nutrient status and how major geologic formations correlate to FPC’s classification system taxonomy.

Known Issues

-> The “Terraces, Atlantic Coastal Plain” layer extends beyond the Atlantic Coastal Plain, despite blatant claims made in its title. This is a vector geometry issue that will be repaired in the next update as the layer makes a stark return to raster.
-> Depending on the exact version of source file being used, the Citronelle formation may improperly appear in Georgia. This should be Atlantic Upper Coastal Plain Terrace and will be corrected in the next release. Note that this has been already fixed in the “Geology only” versions and also individual county versions.
-> Modifier 3:c and Modifier 3:n, Alkaline/calcareous and Salt affected/natric respectively, are being underrepresented across the landscape. This will be corrected in the next release.


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