# What are Soil Morphology, Classification and Survey? Soil Morphology, Classification and Survey are three intimately related sub-disciplines of soil science. They are used one after the other: 1. DESCRIBING and MEASURING soil properties in one or several places (for instance its physical, chemical and biological characteristics, or its internal organisation). Although each example is related to another "Soils" sub-discipline, the overall process is often related as "SOIL MORPHOLOGY" 2. Once soil properties have been measured, it is possible to try to interpret them: What are the main traits of the soil morphology? How does behaves this soil (water flow, etc.)? How the soil has been formed (that is its "pedogenesis") and on which parental materials? As there are infinite variations in soil properties, soil scientist often CLASSIFY soils in CATEGORIES/CLASSES. They have built CLASSIFICATION SYSTEMS that operates at various scales: international, national or regional. 3. What often interest farmers, agronomists or soil scientists is usually not a "local" description, but a more "global" view of soil (at the plot or the region scale): It is the soil MAPPING/SURVEY process. Not only soil mapping does rely on soil classification to present the survey results in a readable way, but it also involves a complex "interpolation" methods, aiming at predicting how is the soil in unsampled location. # Dmoz users will find here resources on each of the above mentioned topic: - Guidelines for soil description (see Soils sub-categories for more specific soil properties); - Reference guides for soil classification; - Reference guides for soil mapping; - Soil survey information: Soil and soil properties maps and databases; - etc. etc. These reference are often available for various countries (and international institutions). # It is good to keep in mind that soil survey/maps often serves as basis for DERIVED MAPS of specific soil properties, for various purposes: Soil aptitude to cultivation, waste amendment; Soil susceptibility to water logging or erosion; Aptitude of the soil to degrade mobile pollutants (or its contrary, risks of pollutant leaching); etc. etc. Such topic will only be placed in this category if they are not presented in other Dmoz categories. # Finally, it worth citing a few synonyms or related topics for "Soil Morphology, Classification or Survey" - Digital Soil Mapping (this term embraces all the new computer-based quantitative techniques being developed for mapping soils); - Soil geography; - Land resources (Soils are only one of these resources); - Pedology (closely, but not exclusively related to soil morphology, classification and survey); - Pedogenesis (idem) [please e-mail the category editor for any suggestion about this Description]
Advanced Soil Genesis: Soil Morphology and Classification
A short introduction to soil morphology (description) and a presentation of the 12 soil orders (US) and their genesis. University of Arizona, Soil, Water and Environmental Science, Craig Rasmussen. [PDF]
AfricaSoils.net, African Soil Information Service
A new digital soil map of Africa. Project leaded by the CIAT/CGIAR and financed by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa.
Are Laterites Caused by the Alkaline Gut of Termites?
It is proposed that latisols (ultisols) are caused by the extremely alkaline midgut of humus eating termites.
The Australian Soil Classification
Explains classification schemes in general with detailed description of Australian soil types, glossary and references.
Australian Soil Classification: An Interactive Key
Gives details of a CD-ROM of this name, a reference tool that allows the purchaser to allocate soil profiles to any level of the official Australian Soil Classification.
Australian Soil Resource Information System (ASRIS)
Interactive soil maps and information on soil resources in Australia, from national to local (soil profile) scale.
Canada: Soils of Canada
A collection of soil profiles representing the twenty Great Groups in the Canadian System of Soil Classification. Includes descriptions of soils and plants of Sub-Boreal Spruce Zone and the Engelmann Spruce-Subalpine Fir Biogeoclimatic Zone. Many pictures.
Classification Procedures for Expansive Soils
Article by A Sridharan and K Prakash discussing how best to set about classifying expansive soils, as the use of standard methods of classification result in distress to the structures founded on them. [PDF]
European Soil Portal
European soil related databases, maps, documents, publications, projects, news and mailing-list at the European Commission, Joint Research Centre.
FAO: Land Resources
The Land Tenure and Management Unit promotes the development of cost-effective methods for land and soil survey and classification and maintains a database and web-based information system on land resources and land use.
Israel: Soils of Israel
A set of images to illustrate the soils of the arid part of Israel. Includes a description list of the soil groups in English and Hebrew. Also available is a conversion table from Dan's to both the USDA and FAO classification systems.
Russia: Soil Map of Russia/FAO soil types
Table correlating the Soil Map of Russia's soil type with FAO World Reference Base (Land Ressources of Russia)
Soil Collections , Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Datasets of soil properties (physical and chemical), at various scales. Distributed Active Archive Center, USA.
Soil Survey Photography
Principles and Techniques is a presentation on Soil Survey photography. [PowerPoint Presentation]
South Africa: Agricultural Geo-referenced Information System - Soils
Soil surveys, soil classification and dynamic maps for South-Africa. ARC Institute for Soil, Climate and Water/AGIS.
Information and maps on Swedish forest soils, their morphological and chemical properties. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.
UK: LandIS - Land Information System
Provide site reports, GIS datasets and a free "Interactive Soilscapes Viewer" for UK soils National Soil Resource Institute, Cranfield University).
UK: United Kingdom soil classification system
A short introduction to UK soil classification system. Soil characteristics and soil classes. SoilsWorldwide (National Soil Resources Institute, Cranfield University)
USA: NRCS Soil Survey
Lists soil surveys, survey programs, soil survey technology, standards, data and references.
USA: Soil Survey Information for Massachusetts and New England
Featuring soil information, ground penetrating radar, GIS, and soil profile photos.
USA: The Soils of Pennsylvania
Information on soil management.
USA: The Twelve Soil Orders
This system for classifying soils is one of the most widely used soil classification systems in the world. Collection of information and images to illustrate the distribution, properties, ecological significance, and use of these 12 soil orders.
USA: Web Soil Survey (USDA, NRCS)
Interactive soil maps and soil information in United States (data from National Cooperative Soil Survey).
World Reference Base, Map of World Soil Resources
Map, information and legend of the World Soil Resources. 1:25.000.000 scale, with image and georeferenced vector formats, FAO/AGL 2003.
World Soil Survey Archive and Catalogue (WOSSAC)
Collection of (paper) soil maps, reports and imagery established by British soil scientists in various countries.
A international project of fine-resolution world soil map (and derived information), using existing datasets and state-of the art mapping technologies.
World: Lecture Notes on the Major Soils of the World
Description, characteristics, geography, landforms and genesis of the 30 Reference Soil Groups (WRB), grouped in 10 sets.
Last update:September 9, 2016 at 7:54:12 UTC