Abstract

4472 - 2874

  The diagnostic continua of the soil of Europe to support the definition of soil function

WG08 WRB: Soil Classification for understanding soil genesis, map legends and soil functions. Experiences with WRB and other systems

Erika Micheli1; Adam Csorba1; Tamas Szegi1; Endre Dobos2; Rachel Creamer3; Arwyn Jones4

Szent Istvan University, Hungary1; Miskolc University, Hungary2; Wageningen University and Reserach, Netherlands3; Joint Research Centre, EU, Italy4

WRB, diagnostic units, qualifiers, spatial continuum, soil functions

  The diagnostic continua of the soil of Europe to support the definition of soil function

Erika Micheli1; Adam Csorba1; Tamas Szegi1; Endre Dobos2; Rachel Creamer3; Arwyn Jones4

Szent Istvan University, Hungary1; Miskolc University, Hungary2; Wageningen University and Reserach, Netherlands3; Joint Research Centre, EU, Italy4

Diagnostic horizons, properties and materials are defined and commonly applied building units in national and international soil classification systems. The presence, depth or exclusion of the diagnostic information supports the process of objective soil classification. In the World Reference Base (WRB) the qualifiers are also defined elements, supplementing the highest taxonomic level -the Reference Soil Group (RSG) - with additional information. The diagnostic units and the qualifiers convey information by themselves, on important and often complex soil properties, that are related to soil functions. Soils may have properties that are characteristic for different soil types and the principles and priorities of the classification system (defined in the classification key) support the decision on the soil classes (RSGs in the WRB). The spatial extent or the continuum of the diagnostic units may be (and often is) different from the soil mapping units (mostly classification units) in general soil maps. This paper will present the spatial distribution of selected diagnostic units and qualifiers that can be attributed to the major soil functions in a continental scale for Europe. The data source for deriving of the diagnostic continua was the 1:1 M Soil Geographical Database of Europe hosted by the European Soil Data Center (ESDAC). The database consists of Soil Typological Units (STU), defined by the WRB RSGs and one qualifier. As, the original geographical representation did not allow the delineation of STUs, they were grouped into Soil Mapping Units (SMU) to form soil associations. The percentage of the STUs within the SMUs are given without spatial definition. The visualized maps generally present the polygons of the SMUs by representing the dominant STU. The digital database includes further analytical and environmental information for the semantic units. Each dominant STU is also supplemented with a representative soil profile with basic horizon data.   An algorithm was developed to derive the selected diagnostic elements and qualifiers for each STU and their weighed % was calculated for the association in the SMU. The derived layers represent the continua of the properties “stored” in the definition of the diagnostic elements.   The paper will demonstrate the value and applications of the derived products and will provide examples for the assessment of spatial definition of soil functional capacities based on the presence of the diagnostic elements.      

Keywords: WRB, diagnostic units, qualifiers, spatial continuum, soil functions

Financial Support: Hungarian National Scientific Research Fund (OTKA) no. 113171

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