public land survey system

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public land survey system (PLSS)

A way of subdividing and describing land in most of the United States.Texas, Hawaii, and most of the original 13 states are not described by the PLSS.The system starts with a principal meridian, which is a north-south line.There are 37 principal meridians in the United States. Each principal meridian has a base line that runs east and west through it. Land is described as being east or west of the principal meridian, and north or south of the range line associated with that meridian. Land is typically divided into 6-milesquare townships.Townships are described with reference to their principal meridian and base line.

Example: A township “2 North, Range 3 East, Mount Diablo Meridian” would mean the township is in the second tier north of the base line, and the third column east of the Mount Diablo Principal Meridian.

Each township is then divided into 36 sections.Each section is 1 mile square and contains approximately 640 acres, makingallowance for unsophisticated measuring tools employed at the time of creation.

Sections may be further subdivided into quarter-sections (160 acres),quarter-quarter sections (40 acres),or any other mathematical subdivision.The gray square in the figure on the bottom right might be described as “the northeast quarter of the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 14, Township 2 North,Range 3 East of the 6th Meridian.

References in periodicals archive ?
Reports of other uses not reported at the PLSS section level were excluded (i.
We linked the PUR to a database of California PLSS sections to remove PUR records erroneously reporting nonexisting sections and to identify records with potential data entry errors, including extremely high application rates (applied pounds / treated acres; CDPR 2000b).
PLSS section boundaries, however, were not included in the data set and were added by merging the land-use data with a shapefile of PLSS sections.
Because of this uncertainty, we decided to combine these crop categories into a class of field crops, assuming that for a reported pesticide application on a specific field, truck, grain, or pasture crop in a PLSS section, all areas with these crop designations were equally likely application sites.
First, when a PUR matched exactly to land-use polygons in a PLSS section by crop type, both records were directly linked.
Third, if we found a PUR for a given PLSS section, but according to the land-use survey no field, vineyard, or orchard crops were present in the section, we assumed that any area within the entire section could have been treated.
As a result, we restricted the parcels in this simulation to those located in rural western Kern County by selecting those whose geometric centroids were within the area of the available land-use survey for 1990 and within or adjacent to a PLSS section containing an agricultural land-use polygon.
2001) in which PUR data per PLSS section (without land-use information) is used to determine whether a residence is exposed; i.