Regional Soil Series soil names are used to distinguish similar soils at a finer level of classification than is possible with either the Genetic or NZSC classifications.

Because of their wide everyday usage among farmers and farm advisors, Series names that were evolved before the existence of NZSC are still used even though in some instances they correspond to more than one NZSC category – care is therefore needed when applying these names.

Soil Series names have an Hierarchical Structure with two levels:

An example of a Soil Series Hierarchical Structure.

Innumerable Series

Series names group local soils with very similar properties. They are usually named after the locality where the type profile is found.


Phases distinguish soils within a series that have particular mixtures of depth, texture and field slope. For the phase name, these characteristics are usually described in full, appended to the Series name.

  • Depth is recorded as (0) deep >100cm, (1) moderately deep 45-100cm (2) shallow 20-45cm, (3) stony 10-20cm, (4) very stony <10cm
  • Texture is recorded as sand (a), clay loam (c), clay(e), fine sandy loam (f), peat (o), peaty loam (p), loamy peat (q), sandy loam (s), loamy silt (y), silty loam (z); if significant layering of two textures occurs texture will reported as a over b.
  • Field slope is recorded as flat (F), gently  undulating (G), undulating (U), rolling (R), hilly (H) or steep (S).

Typically there are up to a dozen or so Phases in a Series.

S-map Online Factsheets

Soil series factsheets

The Regional factsheets contain information about the key properties of a particular soil, as well as interpreted information derived from a suite of models that classify various environmental risks.