University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Plant, Soil & Entomological Sciences Soil & Land Resources
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The Twelve Soil Orders
Soil Taxonomy
In 1975, Soil Taxonomy was published by the United States Department of Agriculture's Soil Survey Staff. This system for classifying soils has undergone numerous changes since that time, and the 2nd edition was published in 1999. Soil Taxonomy remains one of the most widely used soil classification systems in the world.

At the highest level, Soil Taxonomy places soils in one of 12 categories known as orders. We have put together a collection of information and images to illustrate the distribution, properties, ecological significance, and use of these 12 soil orders.

  To view these resources, simply select a link from the list on the right.  


Information about each
of the 12 soil orders
US Distribution Map
of the 12 soil orders
Global Distribution Map
of the 12 soil orders
Soil Taxonomy
For information about the World Reference Base for Soil Resources, visit this web site:
World Reference Base
for Soil Resources

If you have any comments, suggestions, or questions about the 12 Soil Orders web site, please contact Dr. Paul McDaniel  at the Soil & Land Resources Division, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844-2339. (last updated November 2013)

We gratefully acknowledge the Verle Kaiser Endowment at Washington State University for financial support of this web site.

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