Keys to Soil Taxonomy, 8th. edition (2001) / 
:: Empowering Soil Science Students, Educators & Professionals ::

In collaboration with United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, we reproducedKeys to Soil Taxonomy, Eighth Edition, 1998 in a searchable format in 2001. The information for each Soil Order, Great Group and Subgroup in embedded within the key for the whole system.

Some chapters in the beginning and the end of the book have also been reproduced in HTML format. The pop up glossary at each category contains information from Chapters 1, 2, 3, 17, and 18, and is arranged in the same format as the print version. The search field within the pop up glossary can also extract information from the above mentioned chapters.

*The previous versions of Keys to Soil Taxonomy are archived on the NRCS site. The current version is the Twelfth Edition which was published in 2014.

Our effort to develop the Keys to Soil Taxonomy in a seachable format was an experiment to assess the potential of web technology to drill through this voluminous document. A very significant portion of the content of 8th. edition is still valid, however we would like to alert our readers to check the latest edition for the most up to date information.

Chapter 1 The Soils That We Classify
Chapter 2 Differentiae for Mineral Soils and Organic Soils
Chapter 3 Horizons and Characteristics Diagonostic for the Higher Categories
Chapter 4 Identification of the Taxonomic Class of a Soil
Chapters 5 to 16 The Key to Soil Orders, Suborders, Great Groups, and Subgroups is accessible on-line and is enriched with information from Chapters 5 through 16. Browse through the heirarchy for detailed information, or use this Search for Subgroup. Type in a partial or full name of a soil Subgroup to get detailed infomation about it.
Chapter 17 Family and Series Differentiae and Names
Chapter 18 Designations for Horizons and Layers
Master Horizons List of Master Horizons, and their meanings.
Suffixes List of Suffixes, and their meanings.

Primary Source Citation:
United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. 1998. Keys to Soil Taxonomy, Eighth Edition. Soil Survey Staff. [Online FTP] Available URL: [cite access date]

Online Source Citation: 2002. Searchable Keys to Soil Taxonomy, Eighth Edition [Online WWW]. Available URL: [cite access date].

e-Learning Resources > Keys to Soil Taxonomy