Soil Resources

There are five soil associations within Fayette County as enumerated below. It should be noted that a soil association is a landscape that has a distinctive proportional pattern of soils. It normally consists of one or more major soils and at least one minor soil, and it is named for the major soils. See General Soil Map of Fayette County published by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), SCS.

Gilpin-Wharton Ernest Association

This association is widely distributed in the County. In the eastern part of the County, this association occupies much of the northern and southern areas between Chestnut Ridge and Laurel Hill. In the western part, it occupies a wide V-shaped area that extends from Point Marion to Perryopolis and from Point Marion to Laurelville. This soil association makes up about 37% of the County. General observations pertaining to land use are as follows:

  • Areas of strip mine spoil and acid problems exist
  • Contains some of the better farming soils in the County
  • Adapted to pasture and general crops
  • Restricted drainage occurs in the Wharton and Ernest soils
  • Moderate to severe limitations for building sites
  • Water supply seems adequate for livestock and households (springs and wells)

Guernsey Westmoreland Clarksburg Association

This association consists of soils influenced by limestone and soils underlain by the Pittsburgh and other coal veins. This association makes up about 27% of the County. General observations pertaining to land use are as follows:

  • Contains areas of strip mine spoil, nonacid and mine dumps
  • Contains some of the better farming soils in the County
  • Dairy and general farming are dominant
  • Surface drainage is generally good

Dekalb Hazelton Cookport Association

This association is generally located on and along Chestnut Ridge and Laurel Hill and along the Youghiogheny River. Most of this association is very stony, developed in residuum from acid rocks. This soil association makes up about 25% of the County. General observations pertaining to land use are as follows:

  • Most of this association is in trees for which it is well suited
  • This association is not good for farming

Upshur Albrights Association

This association occurs along the upper slopes of Chestnut Ridge and Laurel Hill and is easily recognized by the red color of the soils. This association makes up about 7% of the County. General observations pertaining to land use are as follows:

  • Black locust and yellow poplar trees grow naturally
  • A few scattered farms occur in this association (beef cattle)
  • Principal use limitations are wetness and erosion
  • Contains a few large stone quarries
  • Severe limitations for on-lot sewage systems in many areas

Monongahela Philo Atkins Association

This association is found along the Monongahela and Youghiogheny Rivers. Steep valley sides and escarpments separate this association from other nearby associations. This association makes up about 4% of the County. General observations pertaining to land use are as follows:

  • Most of this association is in stream terraces and floodplains
  • Moderate to severe limitations for most building sites
  • Parts of this association have contained areas with the most community/industrial development in past decades