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Working with SSURGO data to obtain soil horizons

08-28-2023 02:04 PM
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Occasional Contributor II

I am trying to automate a process where I am doing a series of filters on SSURGO soils data.  However, I am hitting a road block when it comes to working with the chorizon related table.


  1. I am able to join the MUs with the component table, valu1, and muaggatt, all of which I needed.  However, when I go to join my updated layer to the chorizon table, all sorts of features come up with empty attributes.  I am joining these tables based on the cokey, as per this documentation (
  2. I am still able to go through an join the chtexturegrp and chtexture (which have the fields I need) and am able to use some of the data, just not all of it, since many features have no attributes or corresponding cokey.

I would like to see if the group has any insights on the best ways to manipulate the SSURGO data to be able to view horizon data in Pro.  As it stands, to get this data I have to go to web soil survey to get it.  This step breaks the automation process I am trying to accomplish.


1 Reply
New Contributor III

It’s not recommended to join any of the tables but a select couple because of the one to many join issues. MUAGGATT and Valu1 tables can be joined by MUKEY with no issues. MUAGGATT is a aggregated table of the most commonly asked for columns of data aggregated together into one table. The Valu1 table is 57 pre-summarized attributes and is discussed more in depth on gSSURGO page. gSSURGO Valu1 table column descriptions PDF.  

We have state and CONUS gSSURGO file geodatabases available for download on our Soils box site. More about gSSURGO here. The file geodatabase contains the spatial data as vector and raster format and includes all the tables.

If you have access to ArcMap, the Create Soil Map tool from Soil Data Development toolbox has different interpretations that it can run, very similar to what you can do in Web Soil Survey and Soil Data Viewer. The toolbox uses a file geodatabase, such as gSSURGO. It will create the table in the file geodatabase so you can use it at any time. Join the tables by MUKEY. There is more on this on the gSSURGO page. Create Soil Map can use the Mapunit Raster or MUPOLYGON feature class from the gSSURGO file geodatabase. It will create tables in the file geodatabase that start with SDV. The toolbox is still being updated to ArcPro.  

There is also a SSURGO-On Demand for ArcGIS Pro toolbox available for download. It can run several of the properties and interpretations similar to Web Soil Survey via web requests from Soil Data Access. The tools work best with data in a file geodatabase, such as gSSURGO

We are working on a new product called SSURGO Portal.  SSURGO Portal is a license free application that allows you to import spatial and tabular SSURGO data into geospatial SQLite SSURGO template databases. There is a ton of info on the webpage, and I recommend reading it all the way through. It provides additional resources.  Check out the quick start guide at the top if you want to dive right in. There are Bulk Downloader tools for ArcGIS Pro and QGIS to download several datasets at onetime from Web Soil Survey. You can create your own SQLite database at any size in SSURGO Portal with the spatial data and tables.  The SSURGO On-Demand application replicates some of the same aggregation as Soil Data Viewer. It will create a table in the SQL database that can be joined to the spatial data by MUKEY.

There is also a CONUS SQLite SSURGO Database, available for download, that is the same data as gSSURGO. The main difference is that it’s delivered in a Geopackage, and raster data is standalone with the download.