Town Analyses > Williston > Physical Landscape
The most interesting questions to ask about the soils in Williston have to do with the overall patterns that you see at the town level (which are derived mainly from the processes of water flowing over the topography or bodies of water leaving behind sediments in the lower elevations of the town), as well as the questions about local features (like a delta deposited during Lake Vermont, a shoreline feature from the Champlain Sea, or a pile of rocks that a farmer extracted from the rocky till in his or her hillside field). Parent material refers to both the bedrock (its physical and chemical properties influencing the resulting soils) and the acting forces that created the soils mapped above. Patterns in the parent materials have already been introduced on the Surficial Geology Page.
Beyond these questions, one can take the topic of soils and dive deep into layer upon layer of mapping and soil attributes and descriptions.
We have chosen to produce maps of Prime and Statewide designated agricultural soils (soils with the highest agricultural productivity potential in Vermont – also known as “Important Farmlands”) as well as Hydrologic groups (describing and ranking soils based on how well they drain, particle size, and depth).There are a great number of other mapped soil attributes (including septic suitability, sand and gravel deposits) which are available through the VCGI website or from a town planning office should you desire to go even further with your Williston soils interests.
Glacial till on Butternut Road
Both Prime and Statewide soils are found in Williston. The Prime and Statewide soils are designated as such because they possess
the requisite characteristics to be ideal for cultivation of certain crops. While agricultural soil productivity potential may be determined from a map, a real determination of actual/effective soil productivity comes only from repeated soil testing and crop yield measurements on a very specific soil over time. Do you notice a pattern related to good agricultural soils and the location of roads?
soil testing in Williston
Soil hydrologic groups
Sand Pit Along The Ancient Shoreline of The Champlain Sea
Erroding Stream Bank - sandy soil
Digging a Soil pit on a delta in Williston
Clay found in stream bank under sand
Cobbles from Glacial till on Butternut Rd in Williston
Exposed Bedrock on top of Five Tree Hill
Sucker Brook Stabilization