Saturday, 15 July 2006

Soil Evaluation for Natural and Anthropogenic Soils (the TUSEC-Method).

Andreas Lehmann, Susanne David, and Karl Stahr. Hohenheim University (310), D-70593 Stuttgart, Germany

A new manual for soil evaluation for natural and anthropgenic soils is worked out within the project TUSEC-IP (Technique of Urban Soil Evaluation in City regions – Implementation in Planning procedures) which is co-financed by the INTERREG III B program of the European Union ( The manual is made for the evaluation of soil for planning purposes. The elaborated techniques for soil evaluation are designed for two levels. The first technique is made for the “A-level”. The A-level allows a detailed evaluation which fits for spatial planning on the scale of 1 : 10.000 or lager, resp. more detailed. The B-level works on the scale of 1 : 25.000 or smaller, resp. less detailed. Soil data on the A-level has to be based on primary soil data. That means the data has to be derived from soil descriptions which correspond to national or international standards. The B-level is intended to allow soil evaluation on the base of secondary data (e.g. information about geology, building ground, hydrology, former land use) that relates to soil parameters. For the A-level soil expert knowledge is especially necessary to provide data by soil mapping, for the B-level soil expert knowledge is especially necessary for the interpretation of secondary data to run the evaluation technique. The soil functions as they are legally defined in the Alpine Convention as issued by the European Union were considered in this guideline. The following list shows the frame in which this evaluation method was developed and could be enhanced.

(i) Expert knowledge based and reliable - scientific approach should be implemented as much as possible without restriciting the user-friendliness. Finally a reliable evaluation for any environmental question is not possible without expert knowledge.

(ii) Easy to use and applicable – therefore an electronic version is available.

(iii) Flexibility – the adaptations to e.g. different environment, planning practices, methods for soil description and legislations are realised.

(iv) Cost efficiently – the B-level is developed to allow soil evaluation without sufficient resources for soil mapping

(v) Upgradeability - specific modules could be added (e.g. specification to land use or to the soil strategy of the European Union).

(vi) Educative – introducing chapters are given to inform planners without much experience in soil evaluation.

The TUSEC-manual refers to particularities of urban soils as disturbance, layering, compaction, artefacts, high content of coarse material and high content of organic matter. Clear progress was achieved in points of accuracy of the evaluation for typical urban soils but also for a wide range of natural soils. Nevertheless the restrictions and potentials of such easy-to-use-methods has to be analysed.

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