Review of soil information systems and (digital) soil mapping activities in Europe to foster soil mapping in Switzerland

Recently, many changes have been proposed to soil sampling and soil mapping methods. This study investigates in current soil mapping campaigns and soil information systems within Europe to foster soil mapping in Switzerland.

Factsheet

  • Lead department School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences
  • Institute Resource-efficient agricultural production systems
  • Research unit Plant production systems
  • Funding organisation SNSF
  • Duration 01.05.2017 - 12.07.2018
  • Project management St├ęphane Burgos
  • Head of project St├ęphane Burgos
  • Keywords contemporary soil mapping, review, Europe, soil information systems

Situation

This study aims to generate a general overview of the soil mapping activities and soil information systems in Europe. Besides, we aim to give detailed insight for selected countries and to formulate recommendations for Switzerland.

Course of action

Human well being depends on soils in many ways. To sensibly manage the non-renewable resource soil for food production, natural hazards mitigation or spatial planning we need detailed spatial information on its properties. Soil mapping is costly and often time consuming. Research to improve soil information methodology is part of our work at HAFL. Learning from experiences made in other countries is therefore essential.

Result

A first overview revealed the rich soil data availability in many countries, mainly in Eastern Europe where a large amount of soil data has been gathered until the late 80ies. However, for some countries only overview soil maps exist. Detailed maps needed for many applications remain patchy.

Looking ahead

Currently, the situation in selected countries is assessed in more detail to learn the potential of certain approaches and tools. Following this project phase, the results are summarized in a report.